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Gitin 58

GITIN 58 - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for Torah and those who study it.



(a) According to Rabah bar bar Chana Amar Rebbi Yochanan, they found forty Sa'ah of Tefilin in Beitar - on the heads of the slain.

(b) According to Rebbi Yanai be'Rebbi Yishmael however, they found three boxes of forty Sa'ah each, and according to the Tana of a Beraisa, forty boxes of three Sa'ah each. They do not argue - one is referring to the shel Rosh, the other, to the shel Yad.

(c) The Pasuk cited by Rav Kahana (Or Shilo bar Mari) "bas Bavel ha'Shedudah ... Ashrei she'Yochez, ve'Nipetz Olalayich el ha'Sela" refers to the large volume of brains that they found on the rocks. We know that the Pasuk is referring to the first Churban - because it begins with the words "bas Bavel ha'Shedudah".

(d) According to Rebbi Asi, they found four Kabin of brains - according to Ula, it was nine.

(a) "The Pasuk writes "B'nei Tzi'on ha'Yekarim ha'Mesula'im be'Paz". This cannot mean that they were covered with ornaments of Paz (a superior quality gold) - because de'Bei Rebbi Yanai has already taught us that of the measure of Paz that came to the world, half belonged to the Romans.

(b) What it means is - that the Yerushalmi'im were so beautiful that they put Paz in the shade.

(c) Due to this beauty, when the Romans were Meshamesh ha'Mitah - they would tie a Jew to the foot of their bed (so that they could look at him and give birth to beautiful children - replacing the gold signet-rings containing a beautiful picture that they had previously used for this purpose).

(d) This disgusting plague is hinted - in the Pasuk in Ki Savo "Gam Kol Choli ve'Chol Makah Asher Lo Kasuv ... " (see Agados Maharsha).

(a) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel connects with the Pasuk "Eini Olelah le'Nafshi mi'Kol B'nos Iyri" - the incident where the Romans murdered countless thousands of Cheder children (which we will now describe).

(b) There were four hundred Batei Keneisi'os in Beitar, and in each one four hundred children's Rebbe's taught - four hundred children each.

(c) When the enemy first entered Beitar - the children prodded the enemy soldiers with their sticks.

(d) When the enemy captured the town, they wrapped the children in their Torah-scrolls and set them on fire.

(a) When Rebbi Yehoshua, who was in Rome, heard about the beautiful child who had been taken captive, he stood outside the prison and called out the Pasuk "Mi Nasan li'Meshisah Ya'akov ve'Yisrael le'Bozezim", to which the child responded - "Zeh Hashem Chatanu Lo, ve'Lo Avu bi'Derachav Haloch ve'Lo Sham'u be'Toraso".

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua reacted to that - by acclaiming the child as a future Torah leader, and promising to redeem him at any cost, which he did.

(c) His efforts did indeed bear fruit - because that captive become one of the leading Torah luminaries of his generation.

(d) His name was Rebbi Yishmael ben Elisha (the Kohen Gadol).

(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav relates the story of Rebbi Yishmael ben Elisha's son and daughter who were captured by two different masters, connecting it to the Pasuk in Eichah "Al Eileh Ani Bochiyah, Eini Eini Yordah Mayim" - the two captors came to an agreement that they would pair of their two beautiful slaves and share the babies. However, each of the two siblings, unaware who the other captive was, spent the night in his respective corner, weeping at the mere prospect of a child of the Kohen Gadol defiling the Kehunah by having relations with a slave. In the morning, when they recognized each other, they fell round one another's neck and wept bitterly until they expired.

(b) Resh Lakish tells the story of Tzofnas bas Peniel who was taken captive. She was called ...

1. ... 'Tzofnas' - because, due to her beauty, everyone would gaze at her (from 'Tzofeh' - to look at or to gaze)?
2. ... 'bas Pa'ane'ach' - because she was the daughter of the Kohen Gadol, who would go 'Lifnai ve'Lifnim' (from 'Mefa'ane'ach', meaning 'hidden').
(c) When, after abusing her all night, her captor offered her to sell her to a particularly ugly man, and they began to disgrace her, she asked Hashem - to have pity if, not on Yisrael, at least on His Holy and Mighty Name.

(d) Hashem, in an obvious reference to this incident, said "bas Ami Chigri Sak, Hispalshi be'Eifer ... Ki Pis'om Yavo ha'Shoded Aleinu" (and not 'Aleichem') - because He was echoing the thoughts of Tzofnas, to say that His Holy name was being desecrated alongside the honor of K'lal Yisrael.

(a) He also tells the story of a carpenter's apprentice who took a fancy to his master's wife. When his master once needed to borrow money from him - he asked him to send his wife to collect it and he would gladly lend it to him.

(b) When his master came to him three days later looking for his wife (with whom he had spent three days) - he ...

1. ... told him that he had sent her back immediately, but that he believed, some children had abused her after she left.
2. ... advised him to divorce her, and even volunteered to lend him the money to pay her Kesuvah.
(c) What happened next was the final straw that caused the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash - the moment his master divorced his wife, the apprentice married her, and then, when the former was unable to repay his loan, the latter forced him to work for him as a servant. The new couple blissfully ate and drank, whilst the former husband, tears streaming down his face, served them.

(d) According to others, what cause the destruction - was two men sharing one woman, to one of whom she was married.

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that, if someone purchased a field from a Sikrikun and then from the owner, the purchase is invalid. According to Rav, the sale will be valid, if the owner wrote the buyer a Sh'tar - because he would not have gone so far as to write a Sh'tar, had he not really meant to authenticate the sale.

(b) What would be required in addition, for the sale to be valid, according to Shmuel - would be to write Acharayus (that he accepts liability should his creditors take it away from him) in the Sh'tar.

(c) Rav reconciles his opinion with the Beraisa, which states "Lakach ... min ha'Ish, ve'Chazar ve'Lakach min ha'Ishah, Mekcho Bateil ad she'Tichtov Lo Acharayus' - by interpreting 'Acharayus' to mean a Sh'tar (meaning that the fact that he wrote him a Sh'tar is in itself, an expression of responsibility [that he will not claim the field from him any more]).




(a) The Tana of the Beraisa states that if someone puchases a field from a Sikrikun and retains it for three years before selling it to someone else, the owner has claim on the second purchaser. The Tana cannot be speaking when the second purchaser counters the owner by claiming that the first purchaser bought the field from him (as well as from the Sikrikun) - because in that case, even the first purchaser would have been believed (and it would be obvious that the second one is believed too)?

(b) Despite the fact that he does not make such a claim, we nevertheless believe him - on the grounds that, in cases such as these, Beis-Din make the claim on his behalf.

(c) We reconcile this Beraisa with those in Bava Basra who hold that Beis-Din do not claim on behalf of the heirs or the purchaser that the man from whom he inherited or purchased the field purchased it in turn, from the owner - by stressing that here, it is most unusual for the purchaser not to clinch his sale by buying the field from the owner too (so it is fair to assume that he did).

(a) The Beraisa speaks about a case where the Nochri claimed his field from the owner in lieu of a debt (and not because he was a Sikrikun) or because of Anperus - a Nochri who steals land, but without threatening the owner's life.

(b) The Tana says there - the Din of Sikrikun does not apply, and the purchaser must return the field to the owner free of charge.

(c) In the case of Sikrikun, the additional condition that is required before the purchaser may retain the field is - that the field remained with the Sikrikun for at least twelve months before he sold it to the purchaser.

(d) This condition will not extend to the case of the creditor or to Anperus - which must be returned to the owner irrespective.

(a) When Rav Yosef says that there is no Anperus in Bavel - he means that the Din Anperus does not apply. The purchaser may in fact, retain the land that he bought from the Anperus - because there were special (small-claims) courts there that dealt with such claims, and if the owner did not take the Anperus to such a court, we assume that he has foregone his claim.

(b) The Minhag was for the joint residents of each 'Bik'ah' (area of land containing a number of fields) to pay their property taxes to one of themselves, who would pay to the king's tax-collector on behalf of all of them. If one of the residents was away and had not paid his taxes to the representative - the other residents would pay the taxes on his behalf, and they would then divide his field among themselves.

(a) When all the joint owners of his area paid Gidal bar Re'ila'i their taxes - he went and paid the tax-collector three years taxes (the difference, out of his own pocket).

(b) The other owners placed the onus of paying on behalf of an owner who had been away for one year, upon Gidal's shoulders, and gave him the right to benefit from his field. When the missing owner returned, he demanded - the return of his field (see Tosfos DH 'Anan'), and that he would pay the tax (which would no longer be covered by the tax that the representative paid).

(c) When the representative wished to recoup his losses, Rav Papa ruled - that all the owners should be jointly responsible to repay him what he had laid out.

(d) Rav Huna B'rei de'Rav Yehoshua objected - on the grounds that it is only by Sikrikun, that the purchaser may reclaim all his losses, but not in our case, where nobody asked him to pay three years taxes in advance. Consequently, Gidal would have to bear the loss himself.

(a) According to the Mishnah Acharonah, assuming that the owner is unable to buy the field back, the purchaser must pay the owner a quarter of the price of the field that he paid to the Sikrikun - because the Sikrikunim who obtained the land free of charge in the first place, tended to re-sell it for a quarter less than the market price. Consequently, Chazal required the purchaser to pay the difference to the original owner, so that he should not have gained (a bargain) at the owner's expense.

(b) Rav and Shmuel argue over the meaning of 'a quarter'. Both agree that if he so wishes, he may return a quarter of the field, but they argue over how much he must pay should he decide to pay with money. When ...

1. ... Rav says 'Revi'a be'Karka she'Hu Revi'a be'Ma'os' (according to the text of the Aruch, who also replaces Rav with Rav Huna) - he means that - if he returns the quarter in the form of land, that will be the equivalent of a quarter of the price that he paid.
2. ... Shmuel says 'Revi'a be'Karka she'Hein Sh'lish be'Ma'os' - if he returns the quarter in the form of land, that will be the equivalent of a third of the price that he paid.
(c) The difference between them will of course, be if the purchaser decides to pay money and not land. The reasoning behind the opinion of ...
1. ... Rav is - that the Sikrikun deducted a quarter from the market price of the land (a field worth five quarters of a Manah for one Manah).
2. ... Shmuel is - that he deducted a third (a field worth one Manah for three quarters of a Manah).
(d) Rav Ashi reconciles Shmuel with the Beraisa which explicitly states 'Revi'a be'Karka she'Hein Sh'lish be'Ma'os' - by explaining 'Sh'lish be'Ma'os to mean a *fourth* third (i.e. after the three thirds that he paid the Sikrikun).
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