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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Chagigah 14

CHAGIGAH 14 & 15 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) Shmuel made a point of telling Chiya bar Rav something in the name of his (Chiya bar Rav's) father. Rav learned from the Pasuk "Chadashim la'Bekarim, Rabah Emunasecha" - that each day, Hashem creates new angels from Nahar di'Yehur, who sing Shirah and are immediately destroyed.

(b) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learns from the Pasuk "bi'D'var Hashem Shamayim Na'asu, *u've'Ru'ach Piv Kol Tzeva'am*" - that it is from Hashem's words that the angels are created (and not from Nahar di'Yenur).

(c) The Pasuk ...

1. ... which compares Hashem's Hair to white wool, is describing Hashem when He sits in counsel - whereas the Pasuk which describes it as black curls - is referring to Hashem when He goes into battle.
2. ... which refers to Hashem's *one* Throne speaks about Hashem's personal throne - whereas the Pasuk which speaks about *two* Thrones, according to Rebbi Akiva - refers to that of David ha'Melech.
(d) Rebbi Yossi Hagelili was not happy that Rebbi Akiva confused Kodesh with Chol. According to him, both thrones refer to the Throne of Hashem, only the one refers to the Throne of Din, the other, to the Throne of Rachamim - an explanation that Rebbi Akiva accepted, as we learned explicitly in a Beraisa.
(a) When Rebbi Akiva repeated Rebbi Yossi Hagelili's interpretation of the two contradictory Pesukim, Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah objected - telling him that he should leave Agadah to others and rather stick to Nega'im and Ohalos (meaning Halachah, his area of expertize).

(b) According to Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah - the first Throne refers to the main Throne on which the King sits, the second throne, to the foot-stool.

(a) Yeshayah pronounced *eighteen* curses upon K'lal Yisrael, before concluding with "Yirhavu ha'Na'ar be'Zakein ve'ha'Nikleh be'Nichbad".

(b) "Ki Hinei ha'Adon ... Meisir mi'Yerushalayim Mash'ein u'Mash'einah. "Mash'ein" refers to the Ba'alei Mikra - "Mash'einah" to the Ba'alei Mishnah.

(c) Rav Papa and the Rabbanan argue. One says that in the days of Rebbi Yehudah ben Teimah there were *six* hundred Sidrei Mishna - the other, *seven* hundred.

(d) If ...

1. ... "Kol Mash'ein Lechem" refers to the Ba'alei Talmud - "Mash'ein Mayim" refers to the Ba'alei Agadah, who 'draw the heart like water'.
2. ... "Gibor refers to the Ba'alei Sh'mu'os (who have a broad knowledge) - "Ish Milchamah" to those who know how to 'fight the battles of Torah (with their depth of knowledge).
(a) "Shofet" and "Navi" in Yeshaya's list of those whom Hashem would remove from Yerushalayim, are literal - "Kosem" refers to the king.

(b) "Zakein" refers to someone who is fit to act as consultant for life-She'eilos. According to the first Lashon, "Sar Chamishim" must be changed to "Sar Chumashim" and means an expert in Chumash. The second Lashon leaves "Sar Chamishim" intact, explaining it to mean - translators who have turned fifty (like Rebbi Avahu explained).

(c) 'Nesu Panim' means someone who is so important that he causes the people of his generation to be favored, either by Hashem (like Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa, on whose merit the entire world was fed - see also Tosfos DH 'Rebbi'), or by the ruling power (like Rebbi Avahu, who was held in high esteem by the emperor - see Tosfos DH 'u'le'Matah').

(d) "Yo'eitz" refers to a Talmid-Chacham who is able to reckon leap- years and leap-months. when Yeshayah writes ...

1. ... "Chacham" - he means Talmidim who outsmart their Rebbes.
2. ... "Charashim" - he means Talmidei-Chachamim who, the moment they open their mouths to speak, everyone else falls silent (though in fact, "Chacham-Charashim" is counted as one - see Ha'gahos ha'Gra, who makes the same comment with regard to 5a.).
(a) By ...
1. ... "Navon" - he means a Talmid who is able to infer one thing from the other.
2. ... "Lachash" - he means one who is worthy of receiving words of Torah that was received silently.
(b) "ve'Nasati Ne'arim Sareihem, ve'Sa'alulim Yimshelu Bam".
1. "Ne'arim" - refers to people who are empty of Mitzvos.
2. "Ta'alulim" - the lowest of the low (who are compared to foxes).
(c) Yeshayah was not satisfied until he issued the final curse "Yirhavu ha'Na'ar be'Zakein ve'ha'Nikleh be'Nichbad".
1. "Yirhavu ha'Na'ar be'Zakein" - means that people devoid of Mitzvos will have jurisdiction over those who are full of Mitzvos like a pomegranate.
2. "ve'ha'Nikleh be'Nichbad" - that people who treat the most important issues like minor ones will have jurisdiction over those who treat minor ones like important ones.
(a) Even when it reached its lowest ebb, the one good Midah that remained among the Yerushalmim - was that of integrity. They would admit that they they were not learned.

(b) We know that - because when people would approach someone whom they believed to be very learned, and asked them to teach them, they would answer candidly that they knew nothing.

(c) Their honesty was not based on a lack of choice, merely because, had they conceded that they were indeed unlearned, then they would have been forced to answer the questions put to them - because then they could always have said that they had indeed known the answers, but had forgotten them.




(a) Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai ...
1. ... declined to teach Rebbi Elazar ben Arach one chapter in Ma'aseh Merkavah - because he thought that he was not a Chacham u'Meivin mi'Da'ato (possibly because Rebbi Elazar ben Arach had once forgotten all his learning, and Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai did not know that he had regained it all - see Agados Maharsha).
2. ... alighted from his donkey, covered himself well and sat on a stone - after Rebbi Elazar had asked permission to repeat something that he had once taught him from Ma'aseh ha'Merkavah (in honor of the Shechinah and the angels who would come to listen).
(b) When Rebbi Elazar ben Arach began to Darshen from Ma'aseh Merkavah - fire descended and surrounded all the trees, who began to sing Shirah from Tehilim "Halelu es Hashem min ha'Aretz ... Eitz P'ri ve'Chol Arazim" (or "Az Yerananu Atzei Ya'ar").

(c) The 'Mal'ach min ha'Eish' announced - that what had just been said was truly Ma'aseh Merkavah.

(d) Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai subsequently proclaimed in admiration - that, unlike some people who are able to Darshen but who do not live up to their words, and others, who live on a high level but who are unable to Darshen, Rebbi Elazar was fit to Darshen, and also lived up to that high level. He concluded with the words 'How fortunate are you Avraham Avinu, that Elazar ben Arach is your descendent'!

(a) Rebbi Yehoshua too, also a disciple of Raban Yochanan ben Zakai took his cue from the above incident and began to Darshen from Ma'aseh ha'Merkavah - to Rebbi Yossi ha'Kohen.

(b) It was the season of Tamuz - in spite of which, the sky became overcast and a sort of rainbow appeared in the sky (see Agados Maharsha).

(c) The angels who came down to listen to him - began to get very jolly, as if they were present at a wedding.

(d) When Rebbi Yossi ha'Kohen related this to Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai, he praised his Talmidim together with their parents and his own eyes that had witnessed all this. He also told them about his dream in which they were all sitting at Har Sinai - when a Bas Kol announced that they should all ascend into a large hall, where nice spreads were already set out for them, and that they together with their Talmidim and their Talmidim's Talmidim are prepared to sit with the third group of those who sat before the Shechinah.

(a) Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah in a Beraisa listed three 'Hartza'os': that of Rebbi Yehoshua, that of Rebbi Akiva and that of Rebbi Chananya ben Chachinai - omitting Rebbi Elazar ben Arach, because he only listed those before whom someone had first Darshened and who then Darshed before someone else.

(b) The problem with the inclusion of Rebbi Chananya ben Chachinai in the list - is that although *he* Darshened before Rebbi Akiva, nobody Darshened before *him*.

(c) What matters, we reply - is that the person before whom he Darshened (RebbI Akiva) went on to Darshen before someone else (Rebbi Yehoshu); not that nobody Darshened before *him*.

(a) The four Tana'im who entered Pardes - were ben Azai, ben Zoma Acher and Rebbi Akiva.

(b) This means that they ascended to Heaven by pronouncing the Name of Hashem (see Tosfos DH 'Nichnesu). 'Pardes' is also the acronym of 'P'shat, Remez, D'rush and Sod' (signifying the deepest levels of understanding.

(c) Rebbi Akiva warned the others not to - cry out 'Water water'! when they thought they saw water, because what they were really seeing was pure marble, which gives off the effect of water when light glints on it. Consequently, they would be lying.


1. Ben Azai - died (because he could not resist looking at the Shechinah - see also Agados Maharsha).
2. Ben Zoma - went out of his mind.
3. Acher - (whose real name was Elisha ben Avuyah) went off the path (he became an apostate).
4. Rebbi Akiva - emerged fro Pardes unscathed.
(a) They asked Ben Zoma whether one is permitted to castrate a dog - because, unlike other non-Kasher animal (whose castration is forbidden), one is even forbidden to use its value (the money one obtains from its sale) to purchase Korbanos. This might be a reason to permit its castration.

(b) They also asked him whether a Kohen Gadol is permitted to marry a Besulah who became pregnant - and who claimed that, in spite of the fact that she was pregnant, she was still a virgin.

(c) Even though she still has Dam Besulim, she might still be forbidden - because the man who made her prefnant (removing her Besulim) may have done like Shmuel, who was able to perform Be'ilah without removing the blood of Besulim.

(d) We conclude that Be'ilah without removing the Dam Besulim is unusual - and that she must have become pregnant by impregnating semen that she found in the bath.

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