(R. Yochanan citing R. Yosi ben Kisma): Hospitality to guests is great. It dispelled two nations (Amon and Mo'av) from ever marrying into Yisrael - "Al Davar Asher Lo Kidmu Eschem ba'Lechem uva'Mayim."
(R. Yochanan himself): It dispels those who were close (all of these will be explained), brings close those who were far, makes Hash-m overlook Resha'im, gives (true) prophecy to false Nevi'im of the Ba'al, and one who neglects it b'Shogeg is considered as if he intentionally sinned:
It dispels the close ones, i.e. Amon and Mo'av, who descend from Avraham's nephew Lot;
It brings close those who were far, i.e. Yisro.
(R. Yochanan): Yisro's reward for "Kiren Lo v'Yochal Lechem" was that his descendants sat on the Great Sanhedrin in Lishkas ha'Gazis - "umi'Mishpechos Sofrim... ha'Kinim ha'Ba'im me'Chamas Avi Beis Rechav." (Yirmeyah prophesized that Bnei Rechav would be on the Sanhedrin), and it says "u'Vnei Keini Chosen Moshe.")
It makes Hash-m overlook Resha'im, i.e. Michah;
It gives prophecy to false Nevi'im of the Ba'al, i.e. the man who gave Ido to eat - "va'Yhi Devar Hash-m El ha'Navi..."
One who neglects it b'Shogeg is considered as if he intentionally sinned. This refers to Yonason ben Sha'ul:
(Rav Yehudah): Had Yonason given David two loaves of bread, (David would not have needed to ask the Kohanim for bread, and) Sha'ul would not have killed the Kohanim of Nov, Do'eg would not have lost his share in the world to come (for informing on the Kohanim and killing them), and Sha'ul and his three sons would not have been killed.
WHY OTHER KINGS WERE NOT LISTED
Question: Why isn't Achaz listed among those who have no share in the world to come?
Answer #1 (R. Yirmeyah bar Aba): It is because his father (Yosam) and son (Chizkiyah) were Tzadikim.
Answer #2 (Rav Yosef): It is because he was ashamed in front of Yeshayah - "Tzei Na Likras Achaz... El Mesilas Sede Choves";
Question: Why is it called "Choves"?
Answer #1: Achaz was Kovesh (buried) his face (he was ashamed to look at Yeshayah).
Answer #2: Achaz put a net of launderers (Kovsim) over his face, hoping that Yeshayah would not recognize him.
Question: Why isn't Amon listed among those who have no share?
Answer: It is due to the honor of Yoshiyahu (his son).
Question: If so, also Menasheh should not be listed, due to his father Chizkiyah!
Answer: A son brings merit to his father, but a father does not bring merit to his son:
"V'Ein mi'Yadi Matzil" - Avraham does not save Yishmael (from punishment. This is like the opinion that Yishmael did not repent), and Yitzchak does not save Esav.
According to this, we can answer similarly for Achaz! (Rav Yosef need not say that it is because he was ashamed in front of Yeshayah.)
Question: Why isn't Yehoyakim listed among those who have no share?
Answer: He got atonement through the disgrace of not being buried.
(R. Chiya bar Avuha): It said on the skull of Yehoyakim 'this (the curse that it will not be buried) and one other (vengeance will be taken on it).'
R. Freida's grandfather found a skull by the gates of Yerushalayim. It said on it 'this and one other.' He buried it (twice, each time) it came up. He realized that it was the skull of Yehoyakim, about whom it says "Kevuras Chamor Yikaver...."
He reasoned that it is improper for a king to be disgraced. He wrapped it in silk and put it in a chest.
His wife found it. Neighbors told her that it is probably from his first wife, and he cannot forget her. She burned it in the oven. This was the other vengeance.
(Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): Chizkiyah asked to be healed in his own merit - "veha'Tov b'Einecha Asisi." This was a sin, and it led him to say "Mah Zos." (Also this was a mistake. It showed a lack of faith in what the Navi told him);
Saying "Mah Zos" led him to show too much hospitality to Nochrim;
Excess hospitality to Nochrim led to exile of his children.
This supports (the Amora) Chizkiyah.
(Chizkiyah): "Umi'Banecha... Sarisim b'Heichal Melech Bavel" - anyone who invites a Nochri to his house and serves him, he causes his children to be exiled.
Question: "Va'Yismach Aleihem Chizkiyah va'Yar'em Es Beis Nechoso" - what was this?
Answer #1 (Rav): His own wife gave them to drink.
Answer #2 (Shmuel): He showed them his treasure house.
Answer #3 (R. Yochanan): He showed them iron that can shatter iron.
(Rabah): Yisrael suffered the afflictions in Megilas Eichah because they transgressed the 36 Chayavei Kerisus (the Gematri'a of Eichah).
(R. Yochanan): Yisrael suffered the afflictions in Megilas Eichah, whose verses are ordered according to the Aleph-Beis, because they transgressed the Torah, written in the letters of the Aleph-Beis.
(Rabah): "Yoshvah Vadad" - Hash-m intended "va'Yishkon Yisrael Betach Badad..." (they would not need to band together for security). Due to their sins, they are alone as outcasts.
(Rabah): "Ha'Ir Rabasi Am" - they would marry young women to older men and vice-versa. This produces more children.
(Rav Yehudah): "Haysah k'Almanah" - not a real widow, rather, like a woman whose husband went overseas on condition to return.
(Rabah): "Rabasi va'Goyim Sarasi ba'Medinos" - wherever they would go, they would be princes to their masters.
(Beraisa): A case occurred in which two captives were taken from Har ha'Karmel. Their captor was in back of them. One captive (Reuven) told the other that the camel in front of them is blind in one eye, and is carrying a pouch of wine and a pouch of oil, and a Yisrael and Nochri are leading it.
The captor: How can you know?!
Reuven: The camel eats only from the vegetation on one side, for it cannot see with the other eye. The drops of wine falling from the pouch sink into the ground, the drops of oil do not sink in. The Nochri relieves himself on the road itself, and the Yisrael goes to the side.
The captor ran to catch those travelling in front of them, and found that Reuven was right about everything. He kissed him on the head and made a feast for him when he got home. He danced and blessed Hash-m for giving such Chachmah to His chosen nation. He let them go free.
(Rabah): "Bacho Sivkeh" - the double verb prophesizes crying over another Churban (i.e. of the second Mikdash);
"Ba'Laylah" - the Churban resulted from what happened at night (after the Meraglim returned) - "va'Yivku ha'Am ba'Laylah ha'Hu."
(Rabah): That night was the ninth of Av. Because they cried for no reason, Hash-m decreed to establish crying for all generations on that day.
Alternatively, the verse discusses crying at night, for then the crying is heard more than during the day.
Alternatively, when one cries at night, the stars and constellations cry with him.
Alternatively, when one cries at night, anyone who hears him cries with him.
The son of Raban Gamliel's neighbor died. His mother was crying at night. Raban Gamliel cried with her until his eyelashes became soaked and covered his eyes. The next day, his Talmidim noticed this and made her move away.
(Rabah): "V'Dim'asah Al Lecheyah" - like a woman crying over the husband she married in her youth, "Eli ki'Vsulah Chaguras Sak Al Ba'al Ne'ureha."
(Rabah): "Hayu Tzareha l'Rosh" - whatever nation afflicts Yisrael becomes the dominant power (Tosfos - beforehand, lest people say that Yisrael fell to a lowly nation).
(Rabah): "Ki Lo Mu'af la'Asher Mutzak Lah" - whatever nation afflicts Yisrael does not weary.
(Rabah): "Lo Aleichem..." teaches Kuvlana (when telling one's afflictions, he must say that it should not come upon the listener. Alternatively, one should tell his afflictions to others).
(Rav Amram): "Kol Ovrei Derech" - Yerushalayim has been punished like Sedom, which was Over Al Da'as (transgressed basic laws):
It says about Sedom "va'Shem Himtir Al Sedom Gafris va'Ed Sheker ha'Ed." Regarding Yerushalayim it says "mi'Marom Sholach Esh."
Question: "Va'Yigdal Avon Bas Ami me'Chatas Sedom" - was Hash-m partial to Yerushalayim (to leave a remnant, unlike Sedom; alternatively - that He sent the fire through a Shali'ach, and not by Himself)?!
Answer: Regarding Sedom it says "...Siv'as Lechem...v'Yad Oni v'Evyon Lo Hechezikah." Regarding Yerushalayim it says "Nashim Rachamaniyos Bishlu Yaldeihem":
Version #1: This attribute of Yerushalayim (women would share the flesh of their children with others) partially atoned for it, therefore Yerushalayim was not punished as harshly as Sedom (which lacked this attribute).
Version #2: In this respect, Yerushalayim was punished harsher than Sedom. Hash-m was not partial.
"Silah Kol Abirei Hash-m" - Hash-m rendered the mighty ones useless, like a coin that was Nifsal (disqualified).
Question (Rabah): The verses of (the first four chapters of) Eichah are according to the Aleph-Beis, except for 'Pei', which comes before 'Ayin.' What is the reason?
Answer: The Churban resulted from the Meraglim, whose sin was to put the Peh (mouth) in front of the Ayin (eye, i.e. they decided to give a derogatory report before seeing the land).
(Rabah): "Ochlei Ami Ochlu Lechem" - only those who eat the bread of Yisrael truly taste bread.
(Rav): "Hash-m Lo Kora'u" - (Nochrim ate our bread because) our judges perverted justice (Ben Yehoyada - they were not worthy to be called Elohim).
(Shmuel): (It was because) the teachers of children taught improperly (learning from a Rebbi should be like learning from Hash-m).
THOSE WHO HAVE NO SHARE IN THE WORLD TO COME
Question: Who compiled the list (in the Mishnah)?
Answer (Rav Ashi): The Great Assembly made the list.
(Rav Yehudah): They wanted to include Shlomo. The image of David came and bowed in front of them (not to include him). They paid no attention;
A fire came from Shamayim and singed the benches. They paid no attention;
A Bas Kol said "Ish Mahir bi'Mlachto Lifnei Melachim Yisyatzav Bal Yisyatzev Lifnei Chashuchim (in Gehinom)" - Shlomo built the Mikdash before his house, and rushed to build it quicker (in seven years) than his house (in 13 years). They paid no attention;
A Bas Kol said "hame'Imach Yeshalmenah Ki Mo'asta Ki Atah Tivchar v'Lo Ani"! (Hash-m decides whom He will reward and punish.)
Expounders say that even those in the Mishnah have a share in the world to come. "Li Gil'ad" refers to Achav, who died in Ramos Gil'ad;
"Menasheh" refers to Menasheh. "Efrayim Ma'oz Roshi" refers to Yarav'am (who was from Shevet Efrayim). "Yehudah Mechokeki" refers to Achitofel, of Shevet Yehudah.