One hundred and three chapters (or psalms) were uttered by David, and he did not pronounce the word Hallelujah until he came to contemplate the downfall of the wicked; as it is written (Ps. civ. 35), "Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul, Hallelujah!' Instead of one hundred and three we ought to say a hundred and four, but we infer from this that "Blessed is the man," etc., and "Why do the heathen rage?" etc., are but one psalm.
Berachoth, fol. 9, col. 2.
One of the most charming women that we find figuring in the Talmud was the wife of Rabbi Meir, Beruriah by name; and as we meet with her in the immediate context of the above quotation. it may be well to introduce her here to the attention of the reader. The context speaks of a set of ignorant fellows (probably Greeks) who sorely vexed the soul of Rabbi Meir, her husband, and he ardently prayed God to take them away. Then Beruriah reasoned with her husband thus:--"Is it, pray, because it is written (Ps. civ. 35), 'Let the sinners be consumed'? It is not written 'sinners,' but 'sins.' Besides, a little farther on in the, text it is said, 'And the wicked will be no more;' that is to say, 'Let sins cease, and the wicked will cease too.' Pray, therefore, on their behalf that they may be led to repentance, and these wicked will be no more?" This he therefore did, and they repented and ceased to vex him. Of this excellent and humane woman it may well be said, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness" (Prov. xxxi. 26). Her end was tragic. She was entrapped by
a disciple of her husband, and out of shame she committed suicide. See particulars by Rashi in Avodah Zarah, fol. 18, col. 2.
The Hasmoneans ruled over Israel during the time of the second Temple a hundred and three years; and for a hundred and three the government was in the hands of the family of Herod.
Avodah Zarah, fol. 9, col. 1.