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Megilah 6

MEGILAH 6-10 sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.

1) [line 3] D'MIDALYA K'RAKSA D'NAHARA - [Tzipori is raised above the valley below it since it is located at the top of a mountain,] just like the bank of a river is raised above the level of the river

2) [line 4] GINOSAR - a city known for its special climate and bounty of superb fruits. Ginosar is an acronym for Ganei Sarim (princes' gardens). It is identified with (a) a city located in a valley to the west of the Kineret; or (b) the city of Beis She'an (BEREISHIS RABAH 98:17)

3) [line 5] K'KALA D'KINAREI - like the sound of harps, lyres
4) [line 8] SHEISHACH - Bavel (as in Yirmeyahu 25:26). The word "Bavel" is "Sheshach" in "At Bash" (a method of linguistic extrapolation whereby each letter at one end of the alphabet is replaced with its corresponding letter at the other end of the alphabet, e.g. Alef with Tav, Beis with Shin, etc.)

5) [line 12] ERETZ SHIN'AR - the land of Bavel (the city of Bavel is located in the land of Shin'ar, as mentioned in Bereishis 10:10, 11:2; later the name Bavel came to refer to the entire area)

6) [line 12] ERETZ TZVI - Eretz Yisrael (Tzevi = desire)
7) [line 13] SHA'ASHU'EHA - her (Shin'ar's) joy
8) [line 15] CHAMEI (GERAR) [GADER] - the hot springs of Gader (Chamat Gader, located on the southern border of the Golan Heights)

9) [line 16] REIKANIN - those who are bare of knowledge; the ignorant
10) [line 18] TOVAH RE'IYASAH - it is a sight to behold [because of the gardens and orchards that are found there (TOSFOS)]

11) [line 22] "ZEVULUN AM CHEREF NAFSHO LAMUS..." - "Zevulun was a people who risked their lives to the death, and Naftali likewise, on the heights of the field." (Shoftim 5:18) - The Gemara interprets this verse homilletically as "Zevulun was a people who despairingly wished that they would die, *because* Naftali was given a portion on the heights of the fields."

12) [line 25] CHILAZON - the underwater snail murex trunculus, from which Techeles is made

13) [line 25] "AMIM HAR YIKRA'U" - "The tribes will assemble at (lit. call on) your mountain" (Devarim 33:19)

14) [line 26] TARIS - (O.F. tonine) tuna
15) [line 26] ZECHUCHIS LEVANAH - (lit. white glass) crystal
16) [line 28] PERAKMATYA - merchandise, business
17) [line 33] KEMI'BEI KUVI - like the distance from Bei Kuvi, a small village in Bavel, outside of Pumbedisa (RASHI Kidushin 70b)

18) [line 33] AD AKRA D'TULBAKNEI - until the port of Tulbaknei, on the southern bank of the Euphrates River (RASHI Kidushin 71b)

19) [line 34] U'FUSYA - and its width
20) [line 36] KEISARI BAS EDOM - Caesarea, the daughter of Edom (seat of the Roman government in Eretz Yisrael)

21) [line 36] BEIN HA'CHOLOS - (lit. between the sandy regions) on the sea
22) [line 37] YASED TEKU'AH L'YISRAEL - a peg driven into Yisrael (an obnoxious foreign element)

23) [line 38] ACHIDAS MIGDAL SHIR/TZOR - [they entitled the act of conquering the city,] "The Capture of Migdal Tzor"

24) [line 40] BEIS BAMYA - House of the Altar (the Girsa of the Bach is BEIS KARYA - House of Heaps (Ruins), in keeping with the verse, "v'Ibadtem Es Shemam" - "and you shall obliterate their names" (Devarim 12:3) -- see Rashi ibid. and Gemara Avodah Zarah 46a)

25) [line 40] BEIS GALYA - House of Revelation. This (and the previous entry) were places of Roman idol worship

26) [line 42] TAR'ATRIYOS - theaters
27) [line 42] KIRKESAYOS - circuses, places of amusement
28) [line 43] PAMIYAS - the name of an ancient city in the north-east of Eretz Yisrael also known as Caesarea Phillipi (today: Banyas), where a cave is located, from which flows one of the sources of the Yarden River

29) [line 44] METROPOLIN SHEL MELACHIM - city of kings (RASHI notes that the word Metropolin is composed of two words, Mater (mother) and Polin (authority, royalty))

30a) [line 44] MERABEI BAH MALCHEI - they raise princes there until they become kings
b) [line 45] MUKMEI MINAH MALCHEI - they crown kings from its populace

31a) [line 47] "...IMAL'AH HA'CHARAVAH." - "[Son of man, because Tzor has said against Yerushalayim, Aha, she, who was the gateway of the nations, is broken; it (the gateway, i.e. the focal point of commerce) has turned to me;] I shall be filled, now that she is laid waste." (Yechezkel 26:2)
b) [line 47] IMAL'AH HA'CHARAVAH The following historical events illustrate that Caesarea and Yerushalayim possess opposing fates with regard to their ruin and restoration.

(a) CAESAREA - Caesarea is the name of the port city founded by King Herod (who reigned from 37 - 4 BCE) on the site of Strato's Tower, located between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The tower was built as a trading station by King Strato of Tzidon in approximately 375 BCE, and a small city developed around it. Herod revitalized the city between the years 22 - 10 BCE and established a complete Greco-Roman city with all the necessary components: theatre, amphitheater, aqueduct, agora (marketplace), and a large temple overlooking the harbor built upon a raised platform. The temple was dedicated to the emperor Augustus Caesar and the city goddess of Rome. For 1000 years it was a major port of the Mediterranean Sea.
(b) In the year 6 CE Judea was ruled as a Roman province, with Caesarea as the provincial capital. The first Jewish Revolt (66 CE) was triggered by a massacre of Jews by pagans at Caesarea. In 70 CE the Romans crushed the Jewish Revolt and destroyed the Beis ha'Mikdash using Caesarea as its headquarters. Caesarea was then re-founded as a Roman colony.
(c) In 1187 the Muslim commander Salah ad-Din conquered the city from the Crusaders, and leveled its fortifications. The city was desolate for forty years. In 1228 the German Crusaders arrived at the Caesarea with the Fifth Crusade and rebuilt its walls. In 1291 the city was razed to the ground by the (Egyptian) Mamelukes to prevent it from falling into enemy hands, after which the city was virtually deserted. It was during the period of the Mamelukes that the Jewish population of Yerushalayim started to grow. During their reign (1250-1517) the Jewish population of Yerushalayim grew from 300- 2000 whereas the total population grew from approx. 3000-6000.
(d) YERUSHALAYIM - At the time of the Churban Beis ha'Mikdash (70 CE), Yerushalayim was destroyed and razed to the ground. The Roman Tenth Legion was garrisoned there following its destruction. Emperor Hadrian (who reigned from 117 - 138 CE) founded a new pagan city on the site of Yerushalayim, naming it Aelia Capitolina; Aelia in honor of his own name Publius Aelius Hadrianus, and Capitolina in honor of Jupiter, whose temple in Rome was on the Capitolene hill. At the site of the Beis ha'Mikdash, he erected a new temple to Jupiter. According to the Roman historian Dio Cassius, this was the cause of the revolt of Bar Kochva (132 - 135 CE). Bar Kochva with his troops took over the city for approximately three years. The Tenth Legion was evacuated and withdrew to Caesarea. After the revolt was crushed, no Jews were allowed to live in Yerushalayim for 500 years. The rulers killed any Jew who set foot in the city.
(e) Only after the Muslims conquered the city under Omar (approx. 640 CE) were Jews allowed to live in the city again. However, the Crusaders later killed off the entire community (1099-1264). The Jews later returned to the city after the commander Salah ad-Din conquered the city from the Crusaders. In 1229 the German Crusaders re-conquered Yerushalayim. In 1244 the Tartars killed some of the Jews living in the city. In 1260 the Mongols invaded Yerushalayim and devastated it.
(f) When the Ramban arrived in Yerushalayim in the year 1267, the total population of the city was nearly 2000, but there were only two Jewish brothers, dyers by trade, who gathered a Minyan in their house on Shabbos (probably from the surrounding area). The Ramban encouraged them to rebuild the Jewish community of the city and together they found an abandoned building and turned it into a synagogue (the Ramban's Shul). A message was sent to Shechem to return the Sifrei Torah that were sent there from Yerushalayim when the Tartars came. Historians generally credit the community established by the Ramban as the beginning of the Yishuv from which the present settlement is descended.

32) [line 49] "YUCHAN RASHA..." - "Shall favor be shown to the wicked one who will not learn righteousness? He deals unjustly in the land of uprightness, and does not see the majesty of HaSh-m." (Yeshayah 26:10) - The Gemara interprets this verse as a dialog between HaSh-m and Yitzchak, translating it as follows: "Shall favor be shown [to Esav]?" asked Yitzchak. "He is a wicked one," answered HaSh-m. "Can no one attest to his righteousness?" asked Yitzchak. "He deals unjustly in the land of uprightness," answered HaSh-m. "In that case, let him not see the majesty of HaSh-m," concluded Yitzchak.

33) [line 52] "AL TITEN, HASH-M, MA'AVAYEI RASHA..." - "Do not grant, HaSh-m, the desires of the wicked; do not further their evil plot, lest they be exalted, Selah." (Tehilim 140:9) - The word "Zemamo" also connotes a nose- ring that is used to control disobedient animals. It is the restraint that HaSh-m uses against Germamya Shel Edom so that they do not destroy the world.


34) [line 1] GERAMAMYA SHEL EDOM - (a) "Germamya" (alternatively "Germanya" - - VILNA GAON Yoma 10a; see also YA'AVETZ there) is identified with Cimeria. The Cimerians, who originally lived to the north of the Black Sea, extended their territorial rule to the south of the Black Sea (ousting the native Phrygians). The Cimerians are considered to have originally been a Nordic people, coming from the Germanic peoples of northern Europe. (Some sources identify them as the Cimbri of Jutland -- a peninsula comprising the mainland of Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.) The peninsula extending into the northern part of the Black Sea known today as "Crimea" was the original land of the Cimerians; (b) "Germanya" was the name used for the area occupied by today's Germany (MUSAF HE'ARUCH; RAV YAKOV EMDEN).

35) [line 3] KETIREI TAGA - (lit. wearers of crowns) princes
36) [line 4] MARZAVNEI - dukes
37) [line 6] U'MITREDEI L'UKMEI MALKA - and they (the people of Germamya) are prevented from crowning a king

38) [line 11] L'CHADUDEI - to become sharp, keen in one's understanding
39) [line 12] L'UKMEI GIRSA - to remember the correct wording
40a) [line 13] SHEHA'SHA'AH MESACHEKES LO - the occurrences of the time are in his favor
b) [line 14] AL TISGAREH VO - do not start up with him
41) [line 14] "...AL TISCHAR BA'MERE'IM, AL TEKANEI B'OSEI AVLAH." - "...Do not compete with evildoers, be not envious of those who do iniquity" (Tehilim 37:1)

42) [line 15] "YACHILU DERACHAV B'CHOL ES, MAROM MISHPATECHA MI'NEGDO, KOL TZORERAV, YAFI'ACH BAHEM" - "His ways are always successful, Your judgements are far removed from him, all of his adversaries - he puffs at them (he is able to repel his adversaries with little effort)." (Tehilim 10:5)

43) [line 23] V'IM LACHSHECHA ADAM LOMAR - if a person whispers to you, saying
44) [line 25] MI SHE'LIBO NOKFO - a person who feels insecure; someone whose conscience bothers him (because of his sins)

45) [line 35] ITALYA SHEL YAVAN - the strongest part of Rome
46a) [line 41] CHOLSIS - (a) rocky ground (RASHI); (b) ground from which sand for glass-making is taken (ARUCH; TOSFOS Erchin 32a DH Cholsis)
b) [line 41] U'METZULAH - (a) glens, from which sand is taken (RASHI Erchin 32a); (b) the sea depths (TOSFOS ibid.)

47) [line 43] SEDER PARSHIYOS - the order of the four Parshiyos of Shekalim (Shemos 30:11-16), Zachor (Devarim 27:17-19), Parah (Bamidbar 19:1-22) and ha'Chodesh (Shemos 12:1-20)

48) [line 58] EIN MA'AVIRIN AL HA'MITZVOS When an object with which a Mitzvah is to be performed lies in front of a person, it is not proper to *pass by* this object without performing the Mitzvah (and to perform the Mitzvah, instead, with another object).

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