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Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Gitin 68

GITIN 68 & 69 - Sponsored by Rabbi Dr. Eli Turkel and his wife, Jeri Turkel. May Hashem bless them with many years of Simcha, health and fulfillment, and may they see all of their children and grandchildren follow them in the ways of Torah and Yir'as Shamayim!


(a) The servants made a lame excuse to check his garment, and found his portion wrapped inside. They complained to the Reish Galusa that Rav Sheshes did not even eat, he only wanted to make trouble!
1. Rav Sheshes excused himself by saying that the meat came from a stricken animal; this claim was verified.
(b) The servants dug a pit, covered it, and tried getting Rav Sheshes to fall in. Rav Chisda hinted to him of the danger, and he averted it.
(a) (Chachamim of Bavel): "I (Shlomo) made for myself ...Shedim v'Shedos" - these are male and female Shedim (quasi-human spirits);
1. (Chachamim of Eretz Yisrael): These are wagon coaches.
(b) Question: According to Chachamim of Bavel - why did he need the Shedim?
(c) Answer: "The Beis ha'Mikdash was built from complete rocks as they were quarried..."
1. Shlomo asked Chachamim: How can I cut the rocks without iron?
2. Chachamim: Using the Shamir (a special worm) that Moshe used to engrave the stones of the Efod.
(d) Chachamim suggested that Shedim might know where to find the Shamir; Shlomo pressed 2 Shedim together. They did not know; they thought that Ashmedai, king of the Shedim, might know.
1. They told Shlomo where Ashmedai resides, and his daily schedule. Shlomo sent Benayahu ben Yehoyada with a chain and ring with Hash-m's name carved on each.
(e) Benayahu replaced Ashmedai's water with wine. Ashmedai, realizing that wine is not conducive to wisdom, was reluctant to drink it; when his thirst grew too strong, he drank the wine and fell asleep. Benayahu put the chain on him; Ashmedai could not free himself.
(f) As Benayahu took Ashmedai to Shlomo, Ashmedai exhibited puzzling behavior. Shlomo asked Ashmedai for the Shamir; Ashmedai replied that it is entrusted to the Angel appointed over the sea, who only entrusts it to a wild chicken.
1. The wild chicken uses the Shamir to cleave mountains, enabling vegetation to grow in the middle.
(g) Shlomo's men found the nest of a wild chicken with fledglings inside; they covered it with glass. The father returned and was unable to enter the nest; it brought the Shamir to cleave the glass. Shlomo' men shouted, and the bird dropped the Shamir, which they took.


(a) Ashmedai explained the way he acted when being taken to Shlomo:
1. When he saw a blind man, he set him on his path because he heard a Heavenly proclamation that the man was a Tzadik, and whoever helps him would merit (a share in) the world to come.
2. He also set a drunkard on his path - the drunkard was wicked, and this would help the drunkard receive his reward in this world, depriving him of the world to come.
3. Ashmedai cried when he saw a wedding - for he foresaw that within 30 days the Chasan would die, and the Kalah would be an Aguna for 13 years until the Yavam could do Yibum or Chalitzah.
4. He laughed when he heard a man request shoes that will last for 7 years, for he foresaw that the man would not live 7 days.
5. He laughed at a magician engaged in his trade, for the magician did not know that he was above the king's treasure.
(b) Question (Shlomo): "k'Toafos" - these are angels; "R'eim" - these are demons - what is so special about demons?
1. Ashmedai: If you will remove the chain from me and give me the ring (with Hash-m's name) I can show you.
2. Shlomo consented. Ashmedai put 1 wing in Heaven and 1 on the ground; he threw Shlomo 400 Parsah. Shlomo was left with only his staff (some say, his cloak). He went begging from door to door, saying who he was.
3. (Ashmedai had assumed the appearance of Shlomo, and was acting as king). When Shlomo came before the Sanhedrin, they observed that he never veered from his claim to be Shlomo - unlike a lunatic, who does not stick to 1 idea.
4. The Sanhedrin investigated. They found that the acting king was having relations in socks - which would cover up the telltale feet of a demon; further, he was requesting to have relations with his wives when they were Nidah, and with his mother Bas Sheva.
5. They gave Shlomo a ring and chain with Hash-m's name; he came to Ashmedai, who fled in fear.
i. Still, Shlomo forever remained afraid of Ashmedai.
(c) Rav and Shmuel argued whether Shlomo ever resumed being king (as at first).
(a) For a headache due to excess blood - one cooks together certain woods, and pours 300 cups of the soup on each side of the head, or 60 cups (on each side) in which a white rose was cooked.
(b) For an aching half-head, one uses a silver coin to slaughter a wild chicken over the aching half, being careful that the blood not blind his eyes;
1. The dead fowl is placed on the doorpost, so he will rub against it as he enters and leaves.
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