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Avodah Zarah, Daf Heh, Part 1
Reading for Sunday
, July 16
Avodah Zarah 5-1



This week’s daf begins with another statement by R. Shmuel b. Nahmani.


וא”ר שמואל בר נחמני אמר ר’ יונתן כל העושה מצוה אחת בעולם הזה מקדמתו והולכת לפניו לעולם הבא שנאמר (ישעיהו נח, ח) “והלך לפניך צדקך וכבוד ה’ יאספך”. וכל העובר עבירה אחת מלפפתו ומוליכתו ליום הדין שנאמר (איוב ו, יח) “ילפתו ארחות דרכם” וגו’


Shmuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Yonatan also said: Every one that one performs a mitzvah in this world, it precedes him and walks in front of him in the world to come, as it is said: “And your righteousness shall go before you; the presence of the Lord shall be your rearguard” (Isaiah 58:8). Similarly, every transgression that one commits clasps him and leads him towards the Day of Judgment, as it is said, “They clasp him in the course of their way” (Job 6:18).


Mitzvot and sins are personified here, leading the person towards justification in the world to come or condemnation at the Day of Judgment.


ר”א אומר קשורה בו ככלב שנאמר (בראשית לט, י) ולא שמע אליה לשכב אצלה להיות עמה לשכב אצלה בעוה”ז להיות עמה בעוה”ב


Elazar said: It is tied to him like a dog, as it is said, “He did not listen to her, to lie with her, to be with her” (Genesis 39:10); to lie with her in this world, to be with her in the world to come.


The sins a person commits in this world are inextricably tied to them, and accompany them like a dog in the world to come. Note that while “dog” has positive connotations for most of us, it is probably not a positive image in the Talmud.