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by Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Megilah 28


(a) He never blessed before a Kohen; he never ate from an animal before its gifts to the Kohen were separated.
1. (R. Yitzchak): One may not eat from an animal before the gifts are separated; this is like eating Tevel.
2. This law is not like R. Yitzchak.
(b) Question: Is it praiseworthy that he never blessed before a Kohen?
1. (R. Yochanan): A Chacham who allows an ignoramus Kohen, even a Kohen Gadol, to bless before him is worthy of death!
(c) R. Preida referred to a case when the Kohen was also a Chacham.
(d) R. Nechunya Ben ha'Kanah attributed his long life to these merits: he never derived honor from the disgrace of his colleague; he did not sleep before forgiving one who had cursed him; he was open with his money.
1. 'Honor from the disgrace of his colleague' - as Rav Huna, who would not allow Rav Chana Bar Chanilai to carry his shovel, unless Rav Chana was used to carrying his own.
2. He did not sleep before forgiving one who had cursed him - as Mar Zutra, who would forgive all who wronged him before going to sleep.
3. He was open with his money - As Iyov, who used to let a grocer keep an extra Prutah.
(e) R. Akiva asked R. Nechunya ha'Gadol in what merits he lived so long.
1. R. Nechunya's servants thought that R. Akiva was unhappy that he lived so long; they hit him, he ran up a tree.
2. Question (R. Akiva): "The one lamb" - why does it say "one", we know it is one by the singular language!
3. Answer (R. Nechunya): To teach, it should be the most special in the herd.
(f) R. Nechunya attributed his long life to these merits: I never received gifts; I never repaid the pain someone gave me; I was open with my money.
1. I never received gifts - like R. Elazar, who would not accept gifts nor an invitation from the Nasi's house -"One who hates gifts will live".
i. R. Zeira would not accept gifts, but he would accept an invitation from the Nasi's house - "they get honor by my coming".
2. I never repaid the pain someone gave me - as Rava said, one who overlooks what others do to him, all his transgressions are overlooked.
(g) R. Yehoshua Ben Karcha attributed his long life to the fact that he never looked at an evil person.
1. (R. Yochanan): One may not look at an evil person.
2. (R. Elazar): This makes his eyes weaken - Yitzchak became blind because he had looked at Esav.
3. Question: But R. Yitzchak taught that Avimelech's curse was the cause!
4. Answer: Both caused it.
(h) Rebbi: Bless me.
(i) R. Yehoshua Ben Karchah: You should live to half my years.
(j) Rebbi: Not to all your years?
(k) R. Yehoshua Ben Karchah: If so, your sons would never receive your position.
(l) Avuhah Bar Idi and Minyamin Bar Idi - one praised himself for never looking at a Kusi, the other, for never becoming a partner to one.
(m) R. Zeira attributed his long life to these merits: he never was demanding in his house; he never walked before someone greater than himself; he didn't think in Torah where there was a bad smell; he didn't walk 4 Amos without Torah and Tefilin; he never slept in a Beis Medrash, not fixed nor casual; he didn't rejoice at the stumbling of a colleague; he didn't call one by his nickname or family name.
(a) (Mishnah): R. Yehudah says that in a desolate shul, we may not: eulogize; twine ropes; set traps; spread fruit on the roof to dry; make it a shortcut.
(b) "I will make desolate your holy places" - even when desolate, they are holy.
(c) If weeds grow in it, we do not cut them, to cause grief (that it is desolate).
(d) (Gemara -Beraisa): We do not conduct frivolously in shuls: we do not eat, drink, adorn ourselves, or stroll in them;

(e) We do not enter a shul to avoid heat or rain; we do not eulogize an individual in shul;
(f) We do learn in shul, and give large eulogies; R. Yehudah says, this applies when they are settled; when desolate, we abandon them, and let weeds grow to cause grief.
(g) Question: The first Tana didn't mention weeds (apparently, R. Yehudah is arguing)!
(h) Answer: Read the Beraisa thusly: We sweep and wash, so weeds should not grow; R. Yehudah says, this applies when they are settled; when desolate, we abandon them, and let weeds grow to cause grief.
(i) (Rav Asi): Shuls in Bavel are made on condition; still, we do not act in them frivolously, that is, to make calculations.
1. A shul in which we make calculations, we leave a corpse in overnight.
2. Question: Must we?!
3. Clarification: A corpse will be left there overnight.
(j) (Rava): Chachamim may benefit from a shul.
1. (R. Yehoshua Ben Levi): The name "House of Rabanan" suggests, it is as their home.
(k) Rava was teaching Ravina and Rav Acha Bar Masneh. A torrential rain came; they entered a shul.
1. They did not enter to avoid the rain - rather, for the sake of the learning, which requires clarity.
(l) (Rav Acha Brei d'Rava): One who must enter a shul to call someone: If he is a Chacham, he should say a law; if he just knows Mishnah, he should say a Mishnah; if not, a verse; if not, let him ask a child to read the verse he is learning, or delay for a short time.
(a) An example of a large eulogy which the Mishnah permits, is a eulogy in the house of Rav Sheshes or Rav Chisda.
(b) Rafram eulogized his daughter-in-law in shul - everyone will come for my honor and hers; R. Zeira acted similarly in eulogizing a Chacham.
(c) Reish Lakish eulogized a Chacham that taught Mishnah - 'Eretz Yisrael has lost a great man'.
(d) Rav Nachman refused to eulogize a man that taught Mishnah, Medrash and Tosefta - 'He is empty' (he never learned how to resolve difficulties in the Mishnah).
1. See the difference between the mighty ones of Eretz Yisrael (Reish Lakish) and the Chasidim of Bavel (Rav Nachman)!
(e) (Mishnah): One who uses the crown (of Torah) will perish.
1. (Reish Lakish): This is one who is served by one who learns laws.
2. (Ula): One may use someone who learns 4 (orders of the Mishnah which apply in Bavel), but not someone who teaches them.
3. A man was carrying Reish Lakish through water. When Reish Lakish heard that the man learned the 4 orders, he refused to be carried.
4. The man asked that Reish Lakish teach him something. He taught him:
i. (R. Zeira): Jewish girls were stringent on themselves to require 7 clean days before purifying themselves after seeing even a drop of blood.
(a) (Tana d'Vei Eliyahu): One who learns laws every day has a place in the world to come - "*Halichos* (ways of the) world are to him" - read this, *Halachos*, the world (to come) is to him.
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