ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sanhedrin 109
SANHEDRIN 106-110 - 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) Nachum was called by the title 'Ish Gamzu' - because whenever anything
negative occurred, he would say 'Gam Zu le'Tovah'.
(b) The Chachamim decided to send specifically Nachum Ish Gamzu to present
the Emperor with a gift - because he was accustomed to miracles (and they
realized the possible hazards that faced a person on such a trip to Rome).
(c) When the innkeeper of the inn where they stayed overnight upon arrival
in Rome, asked him what was in the box, he told him - that it contained head
taxes that were owed to the Emperor.
(d) The delegation arrived at the Emperor's palace with a box of earth, and
not with the jewels and precious stones with which he had set out - because
the innkeeper and his sons emptied the box whilst Nachum Ish Gamzu slept,
and replaced its contents with earth from their garden.
(a) When the Emperor found the box to contain nothing but earth, he had
Nachum Ish Gamzu arrested and taken out to be executed. Nachum accepted this
with his characteristic 'Gam Zu le'Tovah' - and a miracle occurred, in the
form of Eliyahu ha'Navi, who suggested to the Emperor that this might be the
miracle earth of Avraham (which we discussed earlier). After trying it out
on a hitherto invincible enemy, whom he now defeated - the Emperor set
Nachum Ish Gamzu free, filled the box with jewels and precious stones and
sent him home with great honor.
(b) When the surprised innkeeper asked Nachum what he brought to the
Emperor, he replied - that what he took from the inn he brought to the
(c) When the innkeeper and his family realized what had happened - they
demolished their house and brought the dust to the Emperor as a gift
(thinking that all the earth on their property was 'miracle earth'). But of
course, nothing happened with the earth that they brought, and the Emperor
had them put to death for mocking him.
(a) de'Bei Rebbi Shilo initially explained - that what the Dor Haflagah
intended to do was to build the Tower up to the sky and to chop at it with
choppers, until its water flowed freely.
(b) The B'nei Eretz Yisrael laughed at de'Bei Rebbi Shilo however - because
if that were the case, then they ought rather to have built it on a montain,
and not in a valley.
(c) According to Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Elazar, they were divided into three
groups; one of them wanted to establish a community in heaven, the second
wanted to set up an Avodah-Zarah and the third group planned to wage war
(d) Hashem scattered the group that wanted to live in heaven, He punished
the group that ...
1. ... planned to serve idols - by confusing their language, and causing
each one to speak a different language.
2. ... intended to wage war with Him - by turning them into monkeys, spirits
(a) Rebbi Nasan in a Beraisa, explains the Pasuk (in connection with the Dor
Haflagah) "ve'Na'aseh Lanu *Shem*", based on the Pasuk "ve'*Shem* Elohim
Acherim Lo Sazkiru", that in fact - they all intended to set up an
(b) According to Rebbi Yochanan, one third of the Tower was burned - one
third sunk into the ground and one third remained.
(c) Rav says that the air of the Tower of Bavel - causes one to forget ...
(d) ... a curse that manifested itself already at that time - when they all
forgot their language.
(a) When Rav Yosef said that Bavel and Bursif are a bad sign for Torah - he
meant that it causes one to forget one's learning, just as Rav just
(b) In fact, Rebbi Asi explains, Bursif is the acronym of - 'Bor Shafi' ('a
pit which has been emptied of its water').
(c) Bavel too, is called by this name - because Hashem confused their
language (from the word 'Bilbel').
(d) Based on our Mishnah, the Beraisa interprets the Pasuk "ve'Anshei S'dom
Ra'im ve'Chata'im" to mean - "Ra'im" 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh', "va'Chata'im" la'Olam
(a) According to Rav Yehudah, "Ra'im" means with their bodies,
"va'Chata'im", with their money, and "la'Hashem", refers to Birchas Hashem.
'With their bodies' means - that they were steeped in immorality.
(b) He interprets "Me'od" to mean - that they sinned with deliberation (and
(c) The Beraisa explains the first three in the same way, only the Tana
reverses the first two, interpreting "Ra'im" as with their money, and
"ve'Chata'im" as with their bodies. Based on the Pasuk "Gam Dam Naki Shafach
Menasheh Harbeh Me'od", he explains "Me'od" - as murder.
(d) The cause of the people of S'dom's arrogance - was their utopian
existance (much in the same way as the Dor ha'Mabul, as we discussed
(e) In their arrogance, they decided - to stop out of town guests from
visiting their town (so as not to have to share their good fortune with
(a) Rava, describing the deeds of the men of S'dom, based on the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ad Anah Tehos'su al Ish Terztchu Kulchem ke'Kir Natuy ke'Gefer
ha'Dechuyah", explains - how they would place a wealthy man beside a rickety
wall, which they would then push on him to kill him. Then they would take
(b) On the day that Rebbi Yossi Darshened this Pasuk in Tzipori - thieves
dug three hundred tunnels in Tzipori.
2. ... "Chasar ba'Choshech Batim Yomam Chasmu Lamo Lo Yad'u Or", and the
Pasuk in Tehilim "Yashuvu la'Erev Yehemu ka'Kelev u'Va'u vi'Yesovevu Ir ...
" explains - how they would give a wealthy man 'Afarsemon' (balsam spice) to
look after for them, which he would place in his treasury. That night, they
would walk round the wealthy man's house until they smelled the balsam.
Having discovered the exact location of his treasury, they would then dig a
tunnel into it from the street, and walk off with all his treasures.
(c) Rebbi Yossi subsequently received many threats (for putting such an idea
into the thieves heads). He vindicated himself however - by insisting that
he could not have known that people would react to his D'rashah in this way.
(d) When Rebbi Yossi died, the drains of Tzipori - flowed with blood.
(a) The laws of S'dom defied all logic. Someone who owned an ox had to look
after the town's oxen for one day, and someone who did not own an ox at
all - for two days.
(b) When the turn of a certain orphan, the son of a widow, arrived to look
after the town's oxen - he killed all the oxen and announced that whoever
owned an ox would receive one skin, and whoever did not, would receive two.
(c) He explained what he had done - as an offshoot of the initial ruling,
making it a just ruling if ever there was one.
(a) By the same method of logic, the charge for crossing the river by ferry
was one Zuz, whereas someone who crossed by other means - had to pay two.
(b) And if a Sodomite made himself a row of bricks or spread out garlics or
onions to dry - everyone would help himself to one, and sweetly apologise,
pointing out that he had only taken one.
(c) Their judicial system was extraordinary. Two of their judges were
called Shikra'i and Shakrura'i (little liar and big liar). The names of the
other two were - Zaifa and Matzli Diyna (forger and twister of justice).
(d) In a case where a man ...
1. ... struck a pregnant woman and killed her babies - she would be given to
him to live with until she had made good her loss by becoming pregnant
2. ... cut off an ear from his friend's donkey - he would be given the
donkey, until the ear regrew.
3. ... struck his friend and drew blood - he would have to pay the man who
struck him for the trouble.
(a) If someone crossed the river by ferry, he had to pay four Zuz - but
eight Zuz for wading across (see Rashash).
(b) The court charged the laudryman who waded across the river and was then
struck by a policeman for refusing to pay the wading fee - eight Zuz to the
ferryman, and an unspecified amount to the policeman who struck him.
(c) When Eliezer arrived in S'dom and someone struck him and demanded
payment for having drawn blood, he took the man to court. When the judge
ordered him to pay costs, he picked up a stone and struck the judge, telling
the judge that whatever he owed him (Eliezer) for the stroke, he should pay
directly to the man who had struck *him*.
(a) The role of the special guest bed - was to get the guest sleeping in it
to fit it exactly. Consequenly if he was too tall for the bed, they would
cut of his feet, whereas if the bed was too long for him, they would stretch
him until his limbs came apart.
(b) When they offered Eliezer a night on the house, he replied - that on the
day that his mother died, he vowed never to sleep on a bed again.
(c) The Dinar that each native of S'dom would give a guest who arrived in
town was useless - because nobody would sell him food in exchange for it.
(d) After he starved to death - each person, who had carved his name on his
coin, would come and reclaim it.
(a) A person who invited a guest to a party - would have his clothes
(b) Eliezer exploited that law to his advantage - by entering a room where a
party was in progress, and pointing out the person who had 'invited' him.
When that person ran out for fear of what they might do to him, Eliezer
moved up one place, and pointed to the next person. Eventually, when he had
succeeded in getting rid of all the guests, he helped himself to the food.
(c) When a girl gave some bread to a poor man - they smeared her body with
honey and placed her on the roof for the bees to sting to death.
(d) She had tried to hide what she was doing from the people of S'dom - by
carrying the bread out to him in a water jug.
(e) And this is what the Torah means, says Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, when it
writes (with regard to the destruction of S'dom) "Vayomer Hashem Za'akas
S'dom va'Amorah Ki *Rabah* - 'al Iskei Rivah' (that it was the cries of that
girl that Hashem heard, that sparked off His decision to destroy S'dom).
(a) The Beraisa learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "*Vayamusu* ha'Anashim Motzi'ei Dibas ha'Aretz Ra'ah *ba'Mageifah*
Lifnei Hashem" - "Vayamusu", 'ba'Olam ha'Zeh'; "ba'Mageifah", 'la'Olam
(b) This is the opinion of Rebbi Akiva (as we learned earlier). According to
2. ... in Korach "Vatechas Aleihem ha'Aretz" - 'ba'Olam Ha'Zeh'; "va'Yovdu
mi'Toch ha'Kahal" - la'Olam ha'Ba'.
1. ... Rebbi Eliezer - it is about the Adas Korach that the Navi writes
"Hashem Meimis u'Mechayeh" (as we learned there too).
(c) Resh Lakish explains ...
2. ... Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira learns from the Pasuk in (in connection
with the Adas Korach [see Agados Maharsha]) "Ta'isi ke'Seh Oveid, Bakesh
Avdecha ... " - that since the Adas Korach only strayed like a lost sheep,
Hashem will bring them to Olam ha'Ba.
1. ... the Pasuk "Vayikach Korach" to mean - that he initiated a bad sale.
(d) He Darshens "ben Yitzhar" to mean 'a son who heated up the world like
the sun at midday' (stirred up Machlokes) - and ''ben Kehas" as 'a son who
blunted his parents' teeth (embarrassed them)'.
2. ... the name "Korach" to mean - that by causing his men to be swallowed
into the earth, he had made a bald patch in Yisrael.
(a) Resh Lakish Darshens "ben Levi" to mean - 'the son who became an
accessory of Gehinom'.
(b) He would have Darshened 'ben Ya'akov' as - 'a son who held himself back
for Gehinom', had it been written.
(c) Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak gives the reason for the Torah's omission of
Ya'akov's name ...
1. ... by the Meraglim - as Ya'akov's prayer in Vayechi (in Shimon and
Levi's 'B'rachah) "be'Sodam al Tavo Nafshi" (that he not be iincluded in
2. ... by the Adas Korach as - the following phrase there "u'vi'Kehalam al
(a) And Resh Lakish Darshens "Dasan" as 'she'Avar al Das' (he transgressed
the law), and ...
1. ..."Aviram" - as 'Iber Levavo" (he hardened his heart).
(b) When On's righteious wife initially pointed out that he had nothing to
gain in joining the rebellion - he replied that it was not a matter of
joining, so much as of leaving (as he had already sworn allegiance to
2. ... "On" as - 'she'Yashav ba'Aninus' (he did Teshuvah for his sin), and
''ben Peles" as - 'a son with whom wonders occurred' (that his life was
3. ... "B'nei Reuven" he interpreted as - 'a son who saw (that he was doing
the wrong thing) and he understood (that he must part ways with the
(c) When she then sais "Ki Chol ha'Eidah Kulam Kedoshim", she meant - that
even Korach and his men were modest people who would not look at a woman
wose hair was uncovered.
(d) So she subsequently - gave On strong wine to drink that put him to
sleep; then she began doing her hair outside her tent, knowing that the men
who came to fetch her husband would beat a hasty retreat when they saw her.
Which is precisely what happened. They left, to let On ben Peles sleep
through the whole episode.