ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafShabbos 55
(a) Rav Yehudah quoted the Pasuk in Mishlei "Otem Ozno mi'Za'akas Dal, Gam
Hu Yikra ve'Lo Ye'aneh"!
(b) Shmuel replied that it is not *he* who was responsible, since he was
helpless to assist her (presumably the people who were oppressing her were
powerful people over whom Shmuel had no jurisdiction). However Mar Ukva,
who was Av Beis-Din, and who *did* have the authority (and to whom the
woman had evidently also turned) would be taken to task for not coming to
'Reishach bi'Keriri' - 'Your Rebbe (Shmuel himself) is in cold water';
'Reisha de'Reishach' - 'but your Rebbe's Rebbe (Bar Kapara) is in hot
(c) Rav Simon said to Rebbi Zeira that there was no point in rebuking the
family of the leader of Galus, since they would not listen anyway.
(d) Rebbi Zeira however, did not accept this answer. He told him that this
did not absolve him from rebuking them, since how could he be certain that
they would not listen? That was only an assumption.
(a) The one 'Tav' represented 'Tichyeh', the other 'Tamus'.
(b) The 'Midas ha'Din' objected on the grounds that the Tzadikim were
accessories to all the sins of the Resha'im, because they failed to rebuke
(c) We know that Hashem conceded to the Midas ha'Din, because, after
warning the Destructive Angel to leave all those with the Tav of 'Tichyeh'
alone, the Pasuk continued "u'mi'Mikdashi Tachelu. va'Yachelu ba'Anashim
Asher Lifnei ha'Bayis".
(This is, in fact, the only time ever that Hashem retracted from a good
decree, to turn it into a bad one.)
(d) "Mikdashi" is understood as "Mekudashai", and refers to the Tzadikim
who kept the entire Torah from 'Aleph' to 'Tav'.
(a) The six men who arrived at the 'copper altar' were 'Ketzef, Af,
Cheimah, Mashchis, Mashber and Mechaleh' - who were of course, angels, and
(b) How can the copper altar be taken literally, when it had been hidden by
Shlomoh ha'Melech - over four hundred years earlier?
(c) Allegorically, the 'copper altar' refers to the place where the Levi'im
stood and played with their copper instruments; the Navi is informing us
that the massacre began with the Levi'im.
(d) The Gemara seems to mean that 'Tamah Zechus Avos' for the Resha'im,
'Tachon Zechus Avos' for the Tzadikim, whilst 'Chosamo shel Hakadosh Baruch
Hu Emes' refers to both. The Agados Maharsha however, explains that all
three refer to both the Tzadukim and to the Resha'im. How?
'Tamah Zechus Avos' means that the Zechus Avos had terminated, as a result
of which the Tzadikim, who had their own merits, could be saved, whereas
the Resha'im, who relied on the Zechus Avos, would perish; 'Tachon Zechus
Avos', that Zechus Avos would work for the Tzadikim, who went in the ways
of the Avos, but not for the Resha'im, who rejected that path.
These two opinions seem to differ drastically in a number of points:
firstly whether Zechus Avos had terminated or not ; secondly, whether
Tzadikim (at least the Tzadikim of that time) required Zechus Avos, or
could survive on their own merits, and thirdly, whether Zechus Avos was
effective vis-a-vis Resha'im (at least the Rehsa'im of those times).
(a) The two remaining opinions as to during which era 'Zechus Avos' came to
an end are 1. Eliyahu ha'Navi; 2. Chizkiyahu ha'Melech.
(b) Even though Zechus Avos had already come to an end in the days of
Eliyahu, Hashem applied it after that, in the days of Chaza'el, King of
Syria, by virtue of His mercy. (This probably means that initially, Zechus
Avos was *guaranteed* to shield over Klal Yisrael; whereas once Zechus Avos
terminated, Zechus Avos was no longer guaranteed, but depended upon the
mercy of Hashem - upon those occasions when *He* sees fit to reinstate it.)
(a) Rav Ami learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ha'Nefesh ha'Chota'as Hi Tamus", that 'Ein Misah be'Lo Chet" (even
be'Shogeg - Tosfos d.h. 'Ein').
(b) Rav Ami is unperturbed about the Beraisa which ascribes death to Moshe
and Aharon even though they did not sin, because he holds like Rebbi
Shimon ben Elazar, who says in a Beraisa, that Moshe and Aharon too, died
because of their sin - i.e. a lack of faith (or, according to others, for
not implanting faith in Yisrael).
2. ... "u'Fakadti be'Shevet Pish'am" etc., that 'Ein Yisurin be'Lo Avon
(be'Meizid - ibid)" (which incidentally, is not disproved, as the former
(a) The four people who died 'be'Ityo shel Nachash' were Binyamin ben
Ya'akov, Amram, Moshe's father, Yishai, David's father and Kilav ben David.
(b) If someone dies 'be'Ityo shel Nachash', it means that he has done
nothing to deserve death, i.e. he did not sin, and that the reason that he
did die is only because of the original decree (the plan of the snake),
where it was ordained that everybody has to die.
(c) The Tana of the third Beraisa did not include Moshe and Aharon in the
list of those who died 'be'Ityo shel Nachash', which means that the author
must be, not the Tana of the *first* Beraisa, but Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar,
the Tana of the *second*; yet he holds *'Yesh* Misah be'Lo Chet'. It
therefore transpires that there is no Tana who holds 'Ein Misah be'Lo
Chet', like Rav Ami does.
(d) Avigayil (not the wife of Naval ha'Karmeli, David's future wife) was
not the daughter of Nachash. but of Yishai (David's father). Why then, does
the Pasuk refer to him as Nachash? To teach us, answers the Gemara, that he
did not sin, and died only 'be'Ityo shel Nachash.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk "va'Yihyu B'nei Ya'akov Sheneim-Asar", that
Reuven cannot have been guilty of the adultery of which the Pasuk seems to
accuse him, because, just as his eleven brothers did not sin, neither did
(b) The second proof is that, had Reuven been guilty of adultery with
Bilhah, then Hashem would not have chosen him to be among those to stand on
Har Eival - to pronounce a curse on all those who would commit adultery
with one's father's wife.
(c) Reuven's sin was to meddle in his father's personal affairs, when he
switched the beds - removing Bilhah's bed from Ya'akov's tent, to replace
it with his mother, Leah's.
(d) It was bad enough for his mother (who was Ya'akov's first wife) to be a
rival- wife to Rachel, but it was not right, he figured, that she should
now have to be the rival-wife of Bilhah, in whose tent Ya'akov had placed
his bed, following the death of Rachel.
(a) 'Pazta, Chavta, Zalta' and 'Pasa'ta al Das, Chatasa, Zanisa' both
maintain that Reuven *did* commit adultery.
(b) 'Pilalta, Chalta, Zarchah Tefilascha' and 'Za'zata, Hirsa'ta, Parchah
Chet Mimcha' both maintain that he did *not*.
(c) The 'Pey' stands for 'Perashta mi'Lachto'. This final explanation
belongs with the second group, in whose opinion Reuven did not, in fact,
(a) The Navi writes that Chafni and Pinchas committed adultery with the
women who came to the Mishkan.
(b) The sin to which the Navi is referring is that of delaying the bringing
of the Korbanos, including those of women who had recently given birth and
who had come with their bird-offerings. These women were waiting to go home
to their husbands, and would not go before they saw their Korbanos being
brought. And because Chafni and Pinchas caused a delay in the women's
inter-marital relations, thereby delaying the possibility of their becoming
pregnant again, the Pasuk considers it as if they had committed adultery
(c) The Navi in Mal'achi has already written that Hashem will cut off
anyone who is guilty of adultery; if he is a Kohen, explains the Gemara, he
will not have any sons who bring a Minchah to Hashem, and the Gemara takes
for granted that he will certainly not be included in the lineage of
righteous Kohanim who *do*. Consequently, when the Navi in Shmuel writes
"ve'Achyah ... ben Pinchas, ben Eli ha'Kohen", we can deduce that Pinchas
did not commit adultery. (According to some, we learn from the fact that
the Pasuk places Chafni together with Pinchas, that, just as Pinchas did
not commit adultery, neither did Chafni.)
1. "Asher Yishkevun" is written without a 'Vav' (which reads
"Yishke*van*"), suggesting that it was only *one* of them who was guilty of
adultery, and not *both*.
2. "Al Banai' too, can be read "Al *Be'ni*".
3. The Pasuk refers to them both as "B'nei Beli'a'al", not because Pinchas
was guilty of adultery like Chafni was, but because he did not rebuke his
(a) Rashi rejects the text which asks from "Ma'avirim" (also written in
the plural, which suggests that they both sinned), on the basis of the
Gemara's answer; namely, that "Ma'avirim" is also written without a 'Yud',
turning it into the singular. According to Rashi, this answer is
unacceptable, since, in our text, it is written *with* a Yud. (see also
Tosfos, d.h. 'Ma'aviram').
(b) Rashi explains that, in any case, 'Ma'avirim' does not refer to Chafni
and Pinchas, but to the people who were 'spreading a bad name' about them,
in which case, the plural used by the Navi does not prove anything.