ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sanhedrin 96
SANHEDRIN 96-100 - Two weeks of study material have been dedicated by Mrs.
Estanne Abraham Fawer to honor the third Yahrzeit of her father, Reb
Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner), who passed away 18 Teves 5760. May the
merit of supporting and advancing Talmud study serve as an Iluy for his
(a) When Sancheriv went to look for a pair of scissors for Hashem to shave
him, the angels (disguised as humans) - were grinding date-pits.
(b) The Navi describes the scissors that he ultimately brought back as
'Ta'ar ha'Sechirah' - because they made him grind dates in their place,
whilst they went to bring him a pair of scissors (so it seemed as if he
(c) By the time he returned with the scissors, it was already night-time, so
the 'Old Man' instructed Sancheriv - to bring fire to illuminate the night.
(d) Based on what happened next, the Navi writes "ve'Gam es ha'Zakan Tispeh"
(rather than 'Tegalach') - because his beard was destroyed by the fire that
caught hold of it, and not shaved by the 'Old Man'.
(a) Based on the above episode, Rav Pap cites the adage - 'If you singe a
Nochri and he is amenable, set fire to his beard, and you will have a good
(b) Sancheriv went to prostrate himself in 'Beis Nisroch' his god. 'Beis
Nisroch - was actually a plank (from the word 'Neser') taken from No'ach's
boat, which he found, and which he took for the god that saved No'ach from
(c) His two sons killed him with a sword as he was prostrating himself -
because they overheard him promise 'Nisroch' that should he succeed, he
would sacrifice them to him.
(a) The Torah writes "va'Yechalek Aleihem Laylah". According to Rebbi
Yochanan, "Laylah" was the name of the angel who was sent to assist Avraham
in his battle with the four kings. Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha explains it to
mean - that he experienced an act of night, referring to the battle with
Sisra, when the stars fought Sisra on behalf of Barak.
(b) When Resh Lakish said 'Tava de'bar Nafcha mi'de'Nafcha' - he meant to
say that the explanation of Rebbi Yitzchak Nafcha was preferable to that of
Rebbi Yochanan (who was called 'bar Nafcha', either because his father was a
blacksmith, or because he was so good-looking ['be'Lashon Sagi Nahor']).
(c) Avraham stopped pursuing the kings when he arrived in Dan - because that
was where he foresaw, Yeravam would place an image, many years later.
(d) In similar vein, we explain the Pasuk "mi'Dan Nishma Nacharas Susav" to
mean - that Nevuchadnetzar was only victorious against Yisrael (symbolized
by the neighing of his horses) when he reached Dan (for the same reason).
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi taught three Halachos, with the Lashon of
'Hizaharu'. He taught - that one should respect a Zaken who forgot his
learning through an O'nes (but not through negligence).
(b) He also warned to take care to cut the blood-vessels in the neck of a
bird when it is roasted whole, like the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah - because
since the bird is neither cut nor salted, and the vein in the neck (the
jugular vein) contains a lot of blood, one will come to transgress the Isur
of drinking blood.
(c) His third warning was 'Hizaharu bi'Venei Amei ha'Aretz, she'Mehem
Teitzei Torah'. We see this demonstrated to the extreme - in the case of
Shemayah and Avtalyon, who were descendants of Sisro, and of descendants of
Haman, who taught Torah in B'nei B'rak.
(d) He found it necessary to say this - to teach that even though one is not
permitted to marry the daughter of an Am ha'Aretz (see Agados Maharsha), one
should nevertheless treat his son, who might himself become a
Talmid-Chacham, with respect.
(a) Despite the prohibition of teaching an Am ha'Aretz Torah (Agados
Maharsha), one should nevertheless make a point of teaching him - the
forthcoming Sugya, regarding the great reward that Nevuchadnetzar received
for one good deed. Maybe he will learn the 'Kal va'Chomer' that we are about
to make, and become a Talmid-Chacham (see Margelis ha'Yam).
(b) The difficulty Yirmiyah had with Hashem's judgements was - why people
like Nevuchadnetzar succeeded in their evil plans.
(c) Hashem answered him with a Mashal of a man who boasted that he could run
three Parsa'os before the horses in marshland, but when it came to the
crunch - he managed to run only three Mil, in front of a human runner and on
dry land, and even then he got tired.
(d) Comparing the minute merit of Nevuchadnetzar to the little achieved by
the man in the Mashal, Hashem learned a 'Kal va'Chomer' with regard to the
Avos, Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov - whose rewards for their numerous deeds
will inevitably be that much greater.
(a) The sun set ten hours late on the day that Chizkiyahu was cured from his
illness - to make up for the ten hours that the sun set before its time on
the day that his father Achaz died (to prevent the people from eulogizing
that great Rasha before his burial).
(b) Morach Beladen ben Beladen, overawed at the miracle - reacted by sending
a letter of greeting to King Chizkiyah, to the city of Yerushalayim and to
the great G-d.
(c) He was called by his father's name - in honor of his father, whom he
replaced, when his face turned into that of a dog, and he was removed from
(d) Arriving in court just after the letter had already been sent, and
checking on its contents, Nevuchadnetzar the court scribe, found their
wording faulty - inasmuch as they mentioned Chizkiyahu before the Great G-d.
(a) Nevuchadnetzar was picked to run after the carriers and make the
necessary correction - on the basis of the principle 'Karyana de'Igresa,
Iyhu Lehavi Parvanka' ('the one who gives the advice is the one who should
carry it out').
(b) The reward he received for the three steps that he took to try and catch
up with the couriers - was the merit to destroy the Beis-Hamikdash.
(c) Gavriel stopped him at that juncture, says Rebbi Yochanan - because, had
he caught up with the couriers (and made the necessary correction), he would
have earned the merit to destroy the whole of K'lal Yisrael.
(a) When the Navi writes in Malachi "ben Yechabed Av", he is referring to
the honor that Morach Beladan ben Beladan displayed towards his father, as
we explained earlier. And when he continues "ve'Eved Adonav'', he is
referring to - Nevuzraden's respect for Nevuchadnetzar (as we shall now
(b) The Pasuk in Yirmiyah records the burning of the Beis-Hamikdash as
having taken place - on the tenth of Av, at the hand of Nevuzraden Rav
(c) The problem we have with the Pasuk there, which writes "Amad Lifnei
Melech Bavel bi'Yerushalayim va'Yisrof es Beis Hashem" is - that the Pasuk
in Melachim relates how Nevuchadnetzar went to Rivlah (better known as
Anti'och, and not as far as Yerushalayim [in fact, the Medrash explains, he
was afraid of the consequences of destroying the Beis-Hamikdash himself).
(d) Rav Chisda and Rav Yitzchak bar Avudimi argue over the answer to this
question. One of them says that Nevuzraden had an image of Nevuchadnetzar
engraved on his chariot, the other one says - that so intense was his fear
of Nevuchadnetzar, that it was as if he was constantly standing before him.
(a) Nevuchadnetzar sent Nevuzraden - three hundred mules laden with the
finest-honed axes (which could even chop metal) to break in to Yerushalayim.
(b) All of them - broke on just one gate, all that is, except for one.
(c) When Nevuzraden expressed the fear that his army would fall in the same
way as Sancheriv's did - a bas-Kol announced 'Leaper son of a leaper (which
meant perhaps, that he had attacked Yerushalayim with Sancheriv, and now he
was attacking it again with Nevuchadnetzar) now the time has arrived to
destroy the Beis-Mikdash and burn the Heichal' (though before it hadn't)!
(d) After that - he broke down the gate with the back of the ax and entered
(a) Nevuzraden then went on a killing spree until he reached the Heichal -
which he set on fire. When the Heichal attempted to fly up to the Heaven
(presumably to join its counterpart in Yerushalayim shel Ma'alah) - Hashem
pushed it back to earth with His feet (Kevayachol), as the Pasuk writes "Gas
*Dart* Hashem li'Vesulas bas Yehudah" indicates.
(b) In response to Nevuzraden's pride at his great achievement, a bas-Kol
announced that he had killed a dead nation, burned a burned Heichal and
ground already ground flour.
(c) The key word in the Pasuk (conveying Hashem's pre-Galus message to
Yisrael) "K'chi Rechayim, ve'Tichni Kemach" - is "Kemach" (indicating that
they had already been ground, otherwise, the Navi should have said "Tichni
(d) And the significance of the continuation of the Pasuk "Reveal your sides
of your curls, your curls, uncover your calves and cross the river" is -
that although they have already been punished, they are about to be
punished again, by being taken into Galus.
(a) When Nevuzraden queried the people about the bubbling blood, they
initially replied - that it was the blood of Korbanos.
(b) Nevuzraden refuted that claim however - by testing it against the blood
of other animals, and proving that it did not match.
(c) When he threatened them with torture if they would not tell him the
truth, they told him that it was the blood of Zecharyah, a Kohen Gadol and a
Navi, whose blood had not stopped bubbling for hundreds of years - because
he had been murdered by the Jews in the Azarah on Yom Kipur, hundreds of
years earlier, when he had come to rebuke them for their sins, and had
foretold the Churban Beis-Hamikdash.
(d) Nevuzraden promised to still the Navi's blood. So he set about
slaughtering them in groups (to atone for his murder). He slaughtered ...
1. ... the Chachamim (the Sanhedrin Gedolah and the Sanhedrin Ketanah)
2. ... young children next, and then young Kohanim.
(a) By now, he had killed close to two million Jews. He got the blood to
stop - only after asking Zecharyah whether, after killing the best of them,
he wanted him to kill them all.
(b) This suddenly evoked in Nevuzraden's mind - thoughts of Teshuvah. If the
murder of one person required so many deaths to atone for it, he reckoned,
how much atonement would *he* require for the many hundreds of thousands of
murders he had perpetrated. So he ran away, wrote a will for his family and
converted. He was greater than Na'aman (general of the Syrian army) - who
only became a Ger Toshav, whereas he became a Ger Tzedek.
(c) We are told that the descendants of ...
1. ... Haman - taught Torah in B'nei B'rak.
(d) When grandchildren of Nevuchadnetzar who wanted to convert - the angels
protested on the grounds that it was not befitting to accept under the wings
of the Shechinah, the descendants of the man who destroyed the
Beis-Hamikdash and burned the Heichal.
2. ... Sisro - taught children Torah in Yerushalayim.
3. ... Nevuzraden (Shemayah and Avtalyon) - taught Torah in public.
(e) Some explain the Pasuk "Ripinu es Bavel, ve'Lo Nirp'sah" in connection
with the previous statement. Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni explains it (besides
as pertaining to the rivers of Bavel, whose water was bad) - as pertaining
to the date-palms of Bavel, which produced poor-quality fruit, or which grew
beside the rivers of Bavel, and which, as a result, did not produce fruit at
(a) Ula refers to - Amon and Mo'av as 'bad neighbors of Yisrael'.
(b) When Amon and Mo'av, having heard about the prophesy regarding the
destruction of Yerushalayim, sent Nevuchadnetzar a message that he should go
and attack Yerushalayim, he replied - that he was afraid that the same would
happen to him as happened to Sancheriv.
(c) They replied ...
1. ... to that - with the Pasuk in Mishlei "Ki Ein ha'Ish be'Veiso" (meaning
that Hashem had already forsaken the Beis-Hamikdash).
(d) Nevuchadnetzar was talking about - forty-five Tzadikim (thirty in Eretz
Yisrael and fifteen in Chutz la'Aretz or vice-versa) whose merits shielded
2. ... when Nevuchadnetzar asserted that He was close and would quickly come
and help His people in their time of need - that in fact, He had gone far
3. ... when he argued that there were Tzadikim who would Daven on behalf of
Yisrael - with the Pasuk in Shir-Hashirim "Tz'ror ha'Kesef Lakach be'Yado"
(meaning that the Tzadikim, who are compared to silver, had already died).
4. ... when he insisted that the Resha'im would do Teshuvah and bring Hashem
back with their prayers - that Hashem had already set a time limit of
seventy years, before which, He would not return.
(a) And , when Nevuchadnetzar argued that it was winter, and that due to the
snow and the rain it would be difficult ...
1. ... to bring his army to Eretz Yisrael - Amon and Mo'av replied that he
could cross by keeping to the highest ground (on the tips of the mountains).
(b) They would get round the problem of all the graves that were situated in
those caves - by throwing the bones out into the open, as Yirmiyah had
2. ... to find suitable sheltered accommodation for his troops - they
retorted that - the burial sites (the caves) of Eretz Yisrael were better
than his palaces.
(c) Describing the sun, the moon and all the hosts of the heaven to which
they would throw all the bones (of the Kohanim, the prophets and the
inhabitants of Yerushalayim) Yirmiyah writes ' "to the sun ... which they
loved, which the worshipped and which they followed".