THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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1) AGADAH: COMPARING TZADIKIM TO BARLEY
QUESTION: The Gemara expounds the verse, "And I bought her for me for
fifteen pieces of silver and for a Chomer of barley and for a Lesech of
barley" (Hoshea 3:2). Rebbi Yochanan in the name of Rebbi Shimon ben
Yehotzadak says that the number "fifteen" alludes to the fifteenth day of
Nisan, the day on which the Jewish people were redeemed from Mitzrayim. The
"silver" refers to Tzadikim, as the verse in Mishlei (7:20) says. A "Chomer"
is equal to thirty Se'ah, and a "Lesech" is equal to fifteen Se'ah, for a
total of forty-five. These forty-five Se'ah of barley allude to the
forty-five Tzadikim in whose merit the world endures.
2) THE THREE BRANCHES OF THE VINE
Why, though, does the verse first refer to Tzadikim as "silver," and then
refer to them as "barley"?
ANSWER: The MAHARSHA explains that we find that when the Jewish people are
fulfilling the will of Hashem, they are referred to as silver, but when they
are not fulfilling the will of Hashem, they are referred to as "Sig," or
dross, the waste material found in metal (see Yeshayah 1:25). Similarly,
Tzadikim who fulfill the will of Hashem are considered pure like
unadulterated silver, as the verse in Mishlei (10:20) expresses, "The tongue
of the Tzadik is choice silver, but the heart of Resha'im is almost
worthless." The tongue of the Tzadik is pure with no waste material. The
Tzadik does whatever he says, never failing to carry out his word. The
Resha'im, in contrast, do not speak with their mouths what they think in
their hearts, and their words are mostly waste, containing very little
This concept is expressed in the verse that describes how Hashem took the
Jewish people "from the smelting furnace, from Mitzrayim" (Devarim 4:20). In
Mitzrayim, Hashem purified the Jewish people as silver is purified in the
furnace, until, by the arrival of the time of redemption on the fifteenth of
Nisan, they had become totally purified through the Mitzvos of Bris Milah
and Korban Pesach.
The Tzadikim at the time of the redemption are compared to silver. During
the subsequent exiles, though, when they are scattered throughout the world,
they are compared to barley seeds that are scattered by the wind.
The Maharsha explains, based on the Gemara in Pesachim (87b), that Hashem
sent the Jewish people into Galus among the nations only so that righteous
converts should join them. This is derived from the verse, "I have sown her
for Me in the land" (Hoshea 2:25). Just as a farmer sows a Se'ah of seeds in
the ground so that he should reap a crop of several Kor of produce, so, too,
Hashem sows the Tzadikim, like seeds, around the world.
The Gemara in Sanhedrin (93b) also compares Tzadikim to barley. The Gemara
there derives from a verse that Boaz gave to Ruth six kernels of barley. The
Gemara explains that these six kernels of barley alluded to the progeny that
she was destined to bear -- six righteous descendants who would each be
blessed with six unique qualities: David, Mashi'ach, Daniel, Chananyah,
Misha'el, and Azaryah (see Insights to Sanhedrin 93:2). The MARGOLIYOS
HA'YAM there explains that barley is an allusion to the exceptionally
righteous, as mentioned here in Chulin (and as cited by Rashi in Sanhedrin
96b, DH Kesef; see also Berachos 57a, where the Gemara says that seeing
barley, "Se'orim," in a dream is a sign that one is free of sin ("Saru
The here says that the forty-five Tzadikim in whose merit the world endures
are divided between Bavel and Eretz Yisrael. The Gemara derives from the
verse in Zecharyah (11:13), "And I took the thirty silver coins and I threw
it into the house of Hashem," that thirty of these Tzadikim are in Eretz
Yisrael. These Tzadikim are like pure silver because they never had to be
scattered in exile. (D. Bloom)
QUESTION: The Gemara records seven interpretations of the verse describing
the dream of Pharaoh's wine steward, "And on the vine there were three
branches, and it was as though it was blooming; its buds formed and its
clusters ripened into grapes" (Bereishis 40:10). The Gemara concludes with
Rebbi Yirmeyah bar Aba's interpretation.
3) THE THIRTY MITZVOS OF A BEN NOACH
Rebbi Yirmeyah bar Aba explains that "the vine" refers to the Jewish people,
who are compared to a vine in the verse, "You caused a grapevine to travel
out of a Mitzrayim" (Tehilim 80:9).
The "three branches" refer to the Shalosh Regalim, the three festivals
during which all of the Jews go up to the Beis ha'Mikdash in Yerushalayim.
The words, "It was blooming," refer to the time that had arrived for the
Jews to become to be fruitful and multiply, increasing dramatically in
"Its buds formed" refer to the time that had arrived for the Jews to be
redeemed from Mitzrayim.
"Its clusters ripened into grapes" refer to the time that had arrived for
the Egyptians to drink from the "cup of wrath."
Rebbi Yirmeyah bar Aba clearly relates the steward's dream -- which
ultimately enabled Yosef to be released from prison and be promoted to the
second highest rank in the country -- to the future release of the Jews from
Egyptian bondage. Yosef's freedom symbolized the future redemption of the
Jewish people. Accordingly, every detail of the Rebbi Yirmeyah bar Aba's
Derashah fits this theme perfectly, except for the mention of the Shalosh
Regalim. In what way do the Shalosh Regalim relate to the theme of
redemption and freedom from bondage?
ANSWER: Rebbi Yirmeyah bar Aba understands that in the merit of the
pilgrimages that the Jews would undertake at each of the Shalosh Regalim,
they were redeemed from Mitzrayim and led to Eretz Yisrael. During these
three festivals, the Jews leave their homes unprotected, displaying absolute
faith and trust in Hashem (Pesachim 8b). It was the same display of loving
trust that gave the Jews the courage to "follow Me into the wilderness, into
an untilled land" (Yirmeyahu 2:2) when they left Mitzrayim. This is why the
verse alludes to the Shalosh Regalim when it discusses the redemption from
We find a similar idea in RASHI (to Bamidbar 22:28), who explains that when
Bil'am tried to stop the Jews from entering Israel, it was the merit of the
Shalosh Regalim that protected them from his evil design. (M. Kornfeld)
The Gemara quotes Ula who says that the verse, "And I took the thirty silver
coins and I threw it into the house of Hashem, to the treasurer" (Zecharyah
11:13), refers to the thirty Mitzvos that Benei Noach accepted upon
themselves. As RASHI (DH Sheloshim) writes, we do not find these Mitzvos
discussed anywhere in the Gemara.
There are a number of commentators who offer suggestions to identify these
thirty Mitzvos. All of the opinions follow the general assumption that the
thirty Mitzvos are subdivisions of the seven Mitzvos of Benei Noach.
The RAMA MI'PANO in ASARAH MA'AMAROS (Ma'amar Chikur ha'Din 3:21) enumerates
the thirty Mitzvos as follows (the first Mitzvah in each group represents
the category of the seven Mitzvos of Benei Noach).
1. AVODAH ZARAH (not to worship idols or practice idolatry in any form)
2. Ma'avir ba'Esh
7. Chover Chaver
10. Doresh El ha'Mesim
11. GILUY ARAYOS (not to engage in illicit or incestuous relationships)
14. Ba al ha'Zachor
15. Kil'ei Behemah
17. Harkavas ha'Ilan
18. SHEFICHUS DAMIM (not to murder)
19. Soter Lo'o Shel Yisrael
20. BIRKAS HASHEM (not to curse Hashem)
21. Kavod ha'Torah
22. la'Asok ba'Torah she'Nitnah Lahem
23. GEZEL (not to steal)
24. Lo la'Asok ba'Torah Shel Yisrael
25. DINIM (appointing courts and judges to keep law and order)
26. Lo Yishbosu
27. EVER MIN HA'CHAI (not to eat a limb detached from a live animal)
28. Dam Min ha'Chai
29. Neveilah (see Insights to Chulin 91:3)
30. Basar ha'Mes
4) HALACHAH: KENOKENOS
QUESTION: Rav Yitzchak bar Shmuel bar Marta says that the Torah forbids only
the small branches of the Gid ha'Nasheh which are soft and have a taste, but
not the actual Gid ha'Nasheh itself, which is hard and has no taste. Ula
argues and says that even though the Gid ha'Nasheh itself is like wood and
has no taste, the Torah nevertheless forbids one from eating it. Abaye rules
in accordance with Ula.
5) HALACHAH: "LOBEN KULYA" -- THE FACT IN THE GROOVE OF THE KIDNEY
Does Ula agree that the Kenokenos are prohibited, or does he argue that only
the Gid ha'Nasheh itself is prohibited, while the small branches of the Gid
ha'Nasheh are permitted?
ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Kevasei) explains that Ula maintains that the Kenokenos
are permitted mid'Oraisa, but they are prohibited mid'Rabanan.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 65:8) rules that there are two Gidim -- the
inner Gid, which is prohibited mid'Oraisa, and the outer Gid, which is
prohibited mid'Rabanan. The Kenokenos of both the inner and outer Gidim are
prohibited mid'Rabanan and must removed entirely. (Z. Wainstein)
OPINIONS: Rebbi and Rebbi Chiya argue whether or not the Chelev in the
groove of the kidney is forbidden. The Gemara relates that Rabah and Rebbi
Yochanan would dig all of it out, while Rebbi Asi would remove only the part
that covers the kidney (the Chelev above the surface of the kidney), but he
would eat the part that spreads within the kidney. Abaye rules in accordance
with Rebbi Asi, because Shmuel taught that only the Chelev that covers the
flesh is prohibited, but not Chelev that is covered by the flesh, as the
verse, "[Chelev] Al ha'Kesalim" (Vayikra 3:10), implies.
What is the Halachah with regard to the Chelev below the surface of the
(a) RASHI (93a, DH Chelev) rules that Chelev covered by flesh is permitted,
except in the case of the kidney. Regarding the Chelev of the kidney, Rashi
rules that one should not eat the Chelev below the surface of the kidneys
because the issue is not resolved conclusively in the Gemara. Why, though,
should one be stringent in the case of the kidney, when Chelev that is
covered by other flesh is permitted?
The RASHBA explains that the Chelev below the surface of the kidneys is
prohibited because the entire kidneys themselves were offered as part of the
Korban. Chelev covered by flesh is permitted only when such flesh was not
burned on the Mizbe'ach when offering a Korban.
HALACHAH: The SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 64:12) records both opinions. The REMA adds
that when one did not extract the Chelev from inside the kidney and he
cooked it in that state, everyone agrees that it may be eaten. The VILNA
GA'ON (YD 64:22) explains, based on the RAN, that the reason for this is
that the stringent opinion (of Rashi) is only a Chumra. (Z. Wainstein)
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Ma'achalos Asuros 7:7) rules that Chelev covered by
flesh is permitted because of the verse "she'Al ha'Kesalim." The Chelev
below the surface of the kidney is permitted for this reason as well.
TOSFOS (DH Amar Abaye) explains that the Halachah actually depends on the
Girsa of one word in the Gemara -- whether the one who extracted the Chelev
from the inside of the kidney was Rabah or Rava. If it was Rabah, then the
Halachah follows the ruling of Abaye, as it does in most cases when Abaye
and Rabah argue. If, however, the correct Girsa in the Gemara is "Rava,"
then we cannot rule like Abaye when Rava disagrees.