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At Sefaria there is a kind of commentary on Talmud called ‘Daf Shevui’. Commenting on Meg. 15b the author writes:

The Attribute of Justice argues before God—why do you give this reward to righteous people who have the above attributes of self-control and not to everyone. The answer is that those who are righteous but still follow their appetites (wine and strong drink) are treated as if they were wicked. This midrash is heavily focused on self-control. Only those righteous who also are able to control themselves are deserving of such a great reward. Indeed, we might say that a righteous person who does not control himself is even more deserving of such a serious punishment. There is a sentence in the Hebrew which is missing in all manuscripts. I have not translated here because it does not seem to make sense at all.

What sentence is the writer referring to?

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The following appears in Megillah 15b (translation from Sefaria)

אמרה מדת הדין לפני הקב"ה רבונו של עולם מה נשתנו אלו מאלו אמר לה הקדוש ברוך הוא ישראל עסקו בתורה אומות העולם לא עסקו בתורה

The Gemara continues with an episode associated with a verse in Isaiah. The Attribute of Justice said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, how are these, referring to the Jewish people, different from those, the other nations of the world, such that God performs miracles only on behalf of the Jewish people? The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to it: The Jewish people occupied themselves with Torah, whereas the other nations of the world did not occupy themselves with Torah.

Oz Vehadar has the following marginal note:

‏"אמר לה הקב"ה וכו' לא עסקו בתורה" ליתא בכת"י ובכל הדפו"י,‏ (ואיני יודע מי הוסיפו בדפוסים המאוחרים דמלשון זה נשמע דרק אוה"ע אין להם עטרה והא קאמר יכול לכל ת"ל לשאר עמו למי שמשים וכו' ולדן את יצרו וכו', דק"ס)‏

"He said to it...did not occupy themselves with Torah" is not in the manuscripts or in any of the early printings (and I don't know who added it in the later printings, since this sentence implies that only the non Jewish nations are lacking a crown [and thus all Jews have a crown], but the gemara earlier implied only those who are humble and in control of their inclinations have a crown (Dikdukei Sofrim))

  • Thank you for looking it up. But, if this is the case [and as DS suggests, in his note later on, that the words “א״ל גם אלה ביין וכו׳” are also a later addition] I don’t understand how it fits with the subsequent words “פקו פליליה וכו׳” which other mss. appear to have. – Oliver Mar 7 at 14:07

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