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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Gitin 56

GITIN 56 & 57 - Anonymously dedicated by an ardent supporter who wants the Zechus of spreading Torah throughout the world.


(a) What prompted bar Kamtza to take revenge?

(b) So off he went to Rome.
What did he do in Rome?

(c) How did he 'prove' to the emperor that the Jews had rebelled against him?

(d) Why did he choose to blemish the animal on the upper lip (or on the membrane of the eye)?

(a) What objection did Rebbi Zecharyah ben Avkulas raise when the Sanhedrin suggested that ...
  1. ... they sacrifice the emperor's Korban, even with the blemish?
  2. ... they kill bar Kamtza?
(b) So what did they do?

(c) What did Rebbi Yochanan comment on Rebbi Zecharyah ben Avkulas?

(a) The commander in charge of the invading force was called Nero.
What sorcery did he employ to discover whether he should destroy Yerushalayim or not?

(b) What made him run away and convert?

(c) Which famous Tana descended from him?

(d) How long did the siege of Yerushalayim under Vespasian (Nero's successor) last?

(a) Yerushalayim withstood the siege for so long due to the benevolence of three immensely wealthy men.
Why was one of them called ...
  1. ... Nakdimon ben Gurion?
  2. ... ben Kalba Savu'a?
  3. ... ben Tzitzis ha'Keses?
(b) One of these three men provided wheat and barley, another, wine and salt, and the third, wood.
The one that was considered the most valuable is based on Rav Chisda, who would entrust his servant with all the keys of the house with the exception of one.
Which one?

(c) What was the bone of contention between the Chachamim and the Biryoni (war-mongers)?

(d) What did the Biryoni do to force Yisrael's hand to fight the Romans?

(a) Who was Marsa bas Baytus?

(b) So severe was the famine when it suddenly hit them, that the bakers could not bake the little flour that was left fast enough.
What happened to Marsa's Sheli'ach? Which four types of loaves became unavailable one after the other (in order of decreasing quality)?

(c) So Marsa, who happened to be shoeless at the time, went on her own find bread. Some say she died from finnickiness, when she trod in some dung. What do others say?

(d) Who was Rebbi Tzadok?

(a) Which Pasuk in Yechezkel did Raban Yochanan apply to Marsa bas Baytus?

(b) What is the significance of the Pasuk in Yechezkel "Kaspam ba'Chutzos Yashlichu"?

(c) Who was Aba Sikra?

(d) What did he reply when Raban Yochanan ben Zakai met him secretly and asked him how long the Biryoni would continue to starve the people to death by forbidding them to make peace with the Romans?

(a) What plan did Aba Sikra devise at Raban Yochanan ben Zakai's request, to get him out of the walls of Yerushalayim? What made the people believe that Raban Yochanan had really died?

(b) Why did Aba Sikra insist that Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua (Raban Yochanan's disciples) carry the coffin?

(c) How did Aba Sikra, who escorted the coffin outside the walls, convince the Biryoni guards not to pierce the coffin with their swords or even to shake it to test whether Raban Yochanan was really dead?

(d) What was Vespasian's response when Raban Yochanan came before him and greeted him with the title 'king'?

Answers to questions



(a) How did Raban Yochanan answer Vespasian's ...
  1. ... first point by quoting the Pasuk in Yeshayah "ve'ha'Levanon be'Adir Yipol"? What is "Levanon and what is "be'Adir"? Why is the Beis Hamikdash referred to as Levanon?
  2. ... second point? Why did he not go and see him earlier?
(b) How did Vespasian respond to Raban Yochanan's answer to his second point, using a Mashal of a barrel of honey?

(c) Raban Yochanan had no answer to offer him.
What did Rav Yosef (or Rebbi Akiva) have to say about that?

(d) What did he mean to say when he quoted the Pasuk in Yeshayah "Meishiv Chachamim Achor"?

(a) At that moment, a messenger arrived from Rome with the news that the senate had appointed Vespasian Emperor of Rome.
What happened to his feet?
How did Raban Yochanan ...
  1. ... explain this strange phenomenon?
  2. ... solve the problem?
(b) What was Raban Yochanan's response when Vespasian offered him anything he wanted? Which two things did he request, besides Yavneh and its Chachamim?

(c) Rav Yosef (or Rebbi Akiva), quoting the Pasuk "Meishiv Chachamim Achor", again takes Raban Yochanan ben Zakai to task for not asking for the obvious.
What reason might he have had for deliberately not doing so?

(d) The Roman doctors cured Rebbi Tzadok by administering to him 'Maya de'Pari' on the first day, 'Maya de'Sipuka' on the second, and 'Maya de'Kimcha' on the third.
What is ...

  1. ... 'Maya de'Pari'?
  2. ... 'Maya de'Sipuka'?
  3. ... 'Maya de'Kimcha'?
(a) The Emperor Vespasian sent his son Titus to replace him as commander of the Roman forces. The Pasuk "ve'Amar Ei Elokeimo, Tzur Chasayu Bo" refers to Titus.
Which incident does it have in mind? What did Titus think when blood oozed from the Paroches?

(b) What did ...

... Aba Chanan mean when he quoted the Pasuk in Tehilim "Mi Chamochah Chasin Kah"? ... Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael mean when he quoted the Pasuk in Beshalach "Mi Chamochah be'Eilim Hashem"? How does he interpret "ba'Eilim"?
(c) What did he then do with the Paroches?

(d) How ...

  1. ... do we interpret the Pasuk in Koheles "u've'Chein Ra'isi Resha'im Kevurim u'Va'u mi'Makom Kadosh Yehaleichu ve'Yishtakchu ba'Ir Asher Kein Asu"? What do "Kevurim" and "ve'Yishtakchu" mean in this context?
  2. ... might we even interpret "Kevurim" literally?
(a) Whilst Titus was at sea, sailing for home with his booty, Hashem caused a violent storm to erupt, which threatened to sink his ship.
How did Hashem respond when the victorious Titus, citing examples from Par'oh and Sisro, claimed that G-d was only capable of fighting at sea, and challenged Him to a dual on land? Why did Hashem refer to His champion as a 'Beryah Kalah'?

(b) How did the contest end?

(a) For seven years the gnat hammered at Titus brain.
What caused it to stop? How long did the break last?

(b) During those thirty days, the remuneration for a day's hammering depended on the blacksmith's nationality.
How much would Titus pay (per day) ...

  1. ... a gentile blacksmith?
  2. ... a Jew?
(c) Rebbi Pinchas ben Aruva was present when, after Titus death, they cut open his brain.
What did they find there?

(d) According to the Beraisa, it was the size of a one year old dove that weighed two Litrin (which is considerably more than two Sela'im).
What is the significance of the dove in this context?

(a) What did Titus order his family to do with him after his death?

(b) Who was Unklus bar K'lonikus?

(c) What did Titus answer him when he conjured up his spirit and asked him ...

  1. ... who is important in this world?
  2. ... whether one should cleave to them? Why did he cite the Pasuk in Eichah "Hayu Tzarehah le'Rosh"?
  3. ... what his lot was in the other world?
Answers to questions

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