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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Kesuvos 112



(a) When Rebbi Chelbo, Rebbi Avira and Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina arrived at a certain place, they brought them a peach the size of a pot from K'far Hino. A pot from K'far Hino - was five Sa'ah (twenty Kabin).

(b) They ate a third and declared another third Hefker. They used the remainder - to feed their animals.

(c) The following year, Rebbi Elazar arrived at the same place. When they brought *him* a peach, he took it in his hands and recited the Pasuk in Tehilim "Eretz P'ri li'M'leichah, me'Ra'as Yoshvei Vah" - to signify that the fact that the size of the fruit had diminished (he could hardly have held the five Sa'ah peach of the previous year in one hand!) was due to their sins.

(a) When Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi saw clusters of grapes the size of calves growing among the vines in Gavla - he exclaimed in surprise that there were calves standing among the vines.

(b) When they informed him what they really were - he ordered the ground to stop producing such large fruit for the benefit of the Arabs (since at that time, more Arabs lived in Eretz Yisrael than Jews).

(c) When, the following year, Rebbi Chiya arrived at the same place, and took the clusters for goats - they asked him to leave, and not to follow in the footsteps of his colleague (because it was clear that Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi's curse had been effective, by the mere fact that the clusters had been reduced from the size of calves to the size of goats.

(a) Tzo'an - the capital of Egypt, was where the kings set up their palaces.

(b) As the result of the B'rachos of Eretz Yisrael, one Beis Sa'ah would produce fifty thousand Kur (thirty Sa'ah = one Kur). One Beis Sa'ah in Tzo'an of Egypt - was expected to produce seventy Kur (two thousand one hundred Sa'ah).

(c) Rebbi Meir testified - that he saw how one Beis Sa'ah in the valley of Beis She'an, produced seventy Kur (just like it did in Tzo'an).

(d) The connection between Beis-She'an and Tzo'an - is based on the fact that, according to Rebbi Meir, the former was not considered part of Eretz Yisrael at that time (see Agados Maharsha), and was therefore subject to as much natural blessing as Tzo'an was?

(a) When the Torah writes that Chevron was built seven years before Tzo'an of Mitzrayim, it cannot be understood literally - because Mitzrayim (Cham's son) was older than his brother Cana'an, and it would not therefore have been logical for Cham (by the standards that prevailed in those days) to have built a city in honor of his younger son before having built one in honor of his older son.

(b) What the Pasuk therefore means - is that Chevron was seven times as nice as Tzo'an.

(c) Chevron, which is situated in rocky country, was famous for its burial facilities.

(d) The significance of the fact that Chazal compare Tzo'an specifically to Chevron in Eretz Yisrael is now clear - Tzo'an was situated in the most beautiful part of Egypt (which explains why the kings set up their residences there), whereas Chevron is built in the most ugly part of Eretz Yisrael (which is why they designated it for graves). Yet Chevron was seven times as nice as Tzo'an (demonstrating the praiseworthiness of Eretz Yisrael).

5) If a Beis Sa'ah in Tzo'an produced seventy Kur, then one would expect a Beis Sa'ah in Chevron to produce four hundred and ninety Sa'ah. The Tana of the Beraisa arrives at the figure of fifty thousand Kur - firstly, by allowing for the fact that other areas would probably produce more than Chevron, so four hundred and ninety Sa'ah becomes five hundred, and secondly, by pointing out that the Pasuk by the spies is speaking before Yisrael were living there; once Yisrael entered the land, and the blessings took effect, the yield would increase a hundred -fold (like we find by Yitzchak). So the five hundred Kur, became fifty thousand.


(a) When Rebbi Yossi said in a Beraisa that one Sa'ah in Eretz Yisrael can produce five - he was referring to five different quality by-products of grain: a Sa'ah of flour-dust, a Sa'ah of fine flour, a Sa'ah of bran, a Sa'ah of coarse bran and a Sa'ah of poor-quality flour.

(b) Even the Tz'dokim had to concede that Eretz Yisrael was blessed. A certain Tzedoki was telling Rebbi Chanina how much he got out of the one Beis Sa'ah that his father left him in Eretz Yisrael. Besides wine, oil and wheat - he managed to obtain out of that one Beis Sa'ah - legumes and grazing-ground for his flock of sheep.

(c) When a Jew told a Cena'ani that a particular date-palm by the River Yardein yielded an annual harvest of sixty Kur of dates - he commented that Yisrael had hardly entered the land, yet their sins had already caused a decrease in its blessing. Before they arrived, he lamented, the same palm-tree used to produce a hundred and twenty Kur.

(a) Yirmiyah referred to Eretz Yisrael as Eretz Tz'vi, because it produces so much fruit that, naturally, there is nowhere to store it all. So the land stretches miraculously - just like the skin of a gazelle only fits its body miraculously, but not naturally (as becomes evident after it has been removed, when it cannot be replaced). Note: It is unclear why Rashi does not explain this analogy in connection with the phenomenal quantity of fruit that each Beis Sa'ah yields (far more than it could do naturally), in keeping with the entire Sugya, rather than in connection with the storing space.

(b) When Yirmiyah drew the analogy to a gazelle - he might also have been referring to the speed with which Eretz Yisrael produces its fruit; it is the country that produces its fruit the quickest of all, like the gazelle is the quickest of all the animals.

(c) We know that, unlike the flesh of a gazelle, the fruit of Eretz Yisrael is luscious (juicy and sweet), that the quantity of the fruit does not affect the quality - because the Torah testifies "Eretz Zavas Chalav (juicy) u'D'vash (and sweet)" which is written a number of times (enabling Chazal to make a number of D'rashos from it).

(a) Yechezkel referred to three curses with regard to the false prophets: When he wrote ...
1. ... "be'Sod Ami Lo Yihyu" - the fact that they were not conversant with 'Sod ha'Ibur".
2. ... "u'vi'K'sav Beis Yisrael Lo Yokaseivu" - that they did not receive Semichah.
3. ... "ve'El Admas Yisrael Lo Yavo'u" - they did move to Eretz Yisrael.
(b) When Rebbi Elazar ...
1. ... arrived in Eretz Yisrael - he announced that he had escaped one of the curses.
2. ... received Semichah - that he had escaped two of them.
3. ... was appointed to join the select group who would fix Rosh Chodesh and the leap-years, based on the Sod ha'Ibur - he announced that he had escaped all three curses.
(c) When Rebbi Zeira, unable to locate a regular bridge to cross the Jordan River into Eretz Yisrael, discovered a flimsy crossing consisting of a narrow plank and an overhead rope to hold on to, and proceeded to cross - that Tzedoki commented that Rebbi Zeira belonged to that hasty nation who had accepted the Torah before they knew what it contained and whether they were able to live up to its expectations or not.

(d) Rebbi Zeira's responded - that if Moshe and Aharon did not merit entry into Eretz Yisrael, who is to say that he would merit it once he missed the opportunity. One must grab the opportunity when it is offered and not squander it.

(a) When Rebbi Aba arrived in the part of Acco which belonged to Eretz Yisrael - he kissed its coral stones (or its rocks).

(b) Rebbi Chanina set about repairing whatever he found faulty when he arrived in Eretz Yisrael - because out of love of Eretz Yisrael, he wanted no cause for complaints against its inhabitants. See also Tosfos , and Agados Maharsha. It is also possible to explain that they wanted to fulfill the Mitzvah of building up Eretz Yisrael (like someone who rectifies a faulty Seifer-Torah, is considered as if he had written it).

(c) Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi kept moving from the sun to the shade and from the shade to the sun - so that *they* should not have cause to complain about being uncomfortable in Eretz Yisrael.

(d) Based on the Pasuk "Ki Ratzu Avadehah es Avanehah, es Afarah Yechonanu" - Rebbi Chiya bar Gamda rolled in the dust when he first arrived in Eretz Yisrael (see also the above-mentioned Agados Maharsha).




(a) Rebbi Zeira Amar Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba states that when Mashi'ach comes, many accusations will be leveled at the Talmidei-Cahachamim. When Rebbi Zeira told Shmuel about that - he retorted that one decree will follow another.

(b) When the Tana of Rav Yosef's Beraisa said 'Bezuzi, u'Vezuzi di'Vezuzi' - he meant that one group of robbers will follow another to plunder Eretz Yisrael.

(c) Rav Chiya bar Ashi Amar Rav learns from the Pasuk "*Ki Eitz Nasa Piryo*, Te'einah ve'Gefen Nasnu Cheilam" - that on the day that Moshi'ach comes, even the non-fruit-trees will produce fruit.

*** Hadran Alach Sh'nei Daynei, u'Selika Lah Maseches Kesuvos ***

On to Nedarim


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