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Megilah 27

MEGILAH 27 (23 Tishrei) - dedicated anonymously by a student of the Daf in Har Nof, Yerushalayim, l'Iluy Nishmas Aviva Ahuva bas Shalom, on her Yahrzeit


1) Bar Kapara Darshened the Pasuk in Melachim 2: "va'Yisrof es Beis Hashem ve'es Beis ha'Melech, ve'es Kol Batei Yerushalayim ... ". The meaning of these three is obvious. Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi argue over the continuation of the Pasuk "ve'es Kol Bayis Gadol". One of them learns from the Pasuk ...

  1. ... "Hashem Chafetz Lema'an Tzidko Yagdil Torah ve'Ya'dir" - that "Kol Bayis Gadol" refers to the Batei-Medrash.
  2. ... "Saprah Na ha'G'dolos she'Asah Elisha" - that it refers to the Shuls (since the great acts of Elisha were based on Tefilah).
(a) The She'eilah is asked whether one is allowed to sell an old Seifer-Torah to buy a new one - which might be permitted because there is nothing else that one can purchase from the proceeds.

(b) There is no proof from our Mishnah, which *forbids* using the proceeds from the sale of a Sefer-Torah to purchase *Sefarim*, from which we can infer that the purchase of a *Sefer-Torah* is *permitted* - because that speaks specifically in a case of Bedieved, when he has already sold the Sefer-Torah; whereas our She'eilah concerns whether or not, one is permitted to sell one Sefer-Torah in order to purchase another.

(c) We ...

1. ... try to resolve our She'eilah from the Beraisa, which *permits* wrapping a Sefer-Torah in cloths that were used for wrapping *Chumashim* - which implies that one may *not do so* with cloths from a *Sefer-Torah* (even though they have the same Kedushah).
2. ... refute this proof from the Seifa, which *forbids* wrapping a Sefer-Torah with cloths that were used to wrap *Chumashim* - implying that one *may do so* with cloths that were used to wrap a *Sefer-Torah*. Since the implication from the Reisha and the Seifa clash, we ignore the them altogether.
(d) One may ...
1. ... wrap a Chumash (written in scroll form) in a cloth that was used to wrap Nevi'im and Kesuvim (because a Chumash has a greater Kedushah than Nevi'im and Kesuvim).
2. ... not wrap Nevi'im and Kesuvim in a cloth that was used to wrap a Chumash (using converse logic).
(a) One is permitted to place one Sefer-Torah on top of another. This is not a proof that, by the same token, one is permitted to sell an old Sefer-Torah in order to buy a new one - because it is only permitted because it is unavoidable.

(b) We prove that these issues are permitted when they are unavoidable - from the common practice of rolling the Sefer-Torah shut after use, even though one is covering one column with the other.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan quotes Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, who says that one is forbidden to sell an old Sefer-Torah in order to purchase a new one - because after receiving the money, he might just be lax, and fail to buy the new one.

(d) We cannot resolve our She'eilah from there however - because the She'eilah refers to a case where the new Sefer-Torah is already completed and ready to be picked up from the Sofer, and all that is missing is the money to pay for it. In such a case, Raban Gamliel's argument that one might be lax is not applicable.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan quotes Rebbi Meir, who says that one is permitted to sell a Sefer-Torah for one of two reasons - either to learn Torah or to get married.

(b) Even assuming that one is not permited to sell an old Sefer-Torah in order to buy a new one, one is permitted to sell it ...

  1. ... in order to go and learn Torah - because learning Torah is the essence of observing all the Mitzvos.
  2. ... in order to get married - because Hashem did not create the world for it to remain empty. Consequently, it is a great Mitzvah for us to help inhabit it.
(c) The Beraisa forbids selling a Sefer-Torah - even though it is spare.

(d) Raban Shimon ben Gamliel forbids the sale of a Sefer-Torah, even if one does not have enough to eat (bearing in mind that one can always receive money from Tzedakah). He says that someone who sells a Sefer-Torah (or his daughter), even under such circumstances - will not derive any benefit from the sale.

(a) Our Mishnah places the same restrictions on money that remains from the proceeds of one of the objects in our Mishnah, as on the initial sale. Rava qualifies this - by restricting it to a case when they sold a Shul say, and money was leftover from the subsequent purchase; but if they collected money to build a Shul and after the purchase, money was leftover from that, that money may be used for anything.

(b) The Tana of the Beraisa permits using the proceeds of a sale for other things, provided this was stipulated at the time of the sale.

(c) Abaye tries to repudiate Rava's concession by establishing the Beraisa, which permits using the leftovers for other things, by money that was initially collected to purchase one of the holy objects, implying that without the condition, it would be forbidden (a Kashya on Rava). Rava however - establishes the Beraisa by the proceeds of a sale. As for Abaye's Kashya (How can a condition prevent the Kedushah of the Shul from taking effect on the money?), Rava explains that the Tana is referring to the seven council members who made the condition in the presence of the residents of the town, in which case the condition does have the power to take effect, as we learned above.

(d) The Beraisa permits even using the leftover money for 'Duchsusya'. Abaye asked that Beraisa expert whether he had heard the interpretation of 'Duchsusya' from Rav Sheishes - who replied that he had indeed heard from him that it means a horse-riding messenger who carries their messages to the mayor of the town when necessary. From here, Abaye extrapolates that, whenever a person has a problem with understanding a word, he should present it to those who spend a lot of time in the presence of Talmidei-Chachamim, because they are bound to have picked up the meaning of the word from them.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Meir, ruled that residents of one town who visited another town and who were approached by the Gaba'ei Tzedakah there to donate charity for the poor of that town - must give the required amount. However, when they leave, they may re-claim the money and transfer it to the poor people of their own town.

(b) A single visitor too - must pay whatever the Gaba'im assess him for, but he cannot re-claim the money when he leaves.

(c) Rav Huna refused to refund the money to Rav Chana bar Chanila'i and the other members of his community (in compliance with the Halachah that we just learned in a.) - because the right to re-claim the money applies only in a town where there is no Talmid-Chacham who is in charge of the distribution; in Rav Huna's town however, he was in charge of distributing the Tzedakah to the poor, in which everyone, even visiting groups from other towns, had to donate unconditionally. And this was all the more so in Rav Huna's case, since *he* was also the Gabai Tzedakah of Rav Chanah bar Chanala'i's town.




(a) The Rabbanan disagree with Rebbi Meir, who forbids selling a public Shul to a private individual, because it constitutes a reduction in Kedushah - because if so, then it should also be forbidden to sell the Shul of a large town to the residents of a small one.

(b) Rebbi Meir counters this - by pointing out that in that case, both Shuls are Kadosh, whereas a private Shul is not.

(c) The Rabbanan however maintain - that selling a Shul to a smaller community too, constitutes a breach of the principle 'be'Rov Am Hadras Melech' (and according to Rebbi Meir's way of thinking, ought to be forbidden).

(d) According to Rebbi Meir, one may only sell a Shul (even from one town to another) - on condition that the purchasers agree that, should they wish, the sellers may retract from the sale (because it is degrading for a Shul to be sold permanently, as if the original owners do not want it).

(a) According to the Rabbanan, one may sell a Shul in any case, provided the purchaser does not use it for one of four things - a bath-house, a tannery, a Mikveh or a bathroom (according to others, a laundry).

(b) According to Rebbi Yehudah, one may sell the Shul as a courtyard - and what the purchaser subsequently does with it, is his business.

(a) We learned in the Mishnah that Rebbi Meir permits selling a Shul only on condition that the sellers have the right to retract, should they decide to do so. The problem with that is - that should the sellers decide to retract from the sale, the purchasers will have had the benefit of living there free, in return for their money, which now turns out retroactively to have been a loan. This appears to contravene the laws of Ribis (not taking interest).

(b) We answer that Rebbi Meir holds like Rebbi Yehudah.

1. The Tana Kama of the Beraisa says (with regard to someone who owed money and who gave him his field as a security) - that this is only permitted as long as it is the 'seller' (the borrower who owns the field) who eats the fruit, but not the 'purchaser' (the creditor)?
2. According to Rebbi Yehudah - it is permitted even if the 'purchaser' eats the fruit, because the borrower may decide to pay, and return the field. This is known as a 'one-sided' (fifty percent chance) Ribis, which Rebbi Yehudah permits (See Tosfos DH 'Rebbi Yehudah').
(c) Rebbi Yehudah cites a case in point from Bitus ben Zonin, who gave his field as a security on the instructions of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, even though it was the 'purchaser' (the creditor) who ate the fruit. The Rabbanan however, contend - that Rebbi Yehudah misquoted the incident; in fact, they point out, it was the 'seller' who ate the fruit, and not the 'purchaser'.
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel permits one to urinate within four Amos of the location that one Davened. That is obvious, asks the Gemara, even from the Rabbanan of Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah, who forbid the purchaser of a Shul to use it as a bathroom, who only argue with Rebbi Yehudah (who permits it) in the case of a Shul, whose Kedushah is fixed, but not when it is only a question of the four Amos next to the Shul.

(b) A Beraisa expert quoted a Beraisa in front of Rav Nachman requiring someone who has Davened, to move four Amos before urinating, and someone who has urinated to move four Amos before Davening. Rav Nachman agreed with the latter statement - because of the Mishnah in Berachos, which obligates one to move four Amos away from urine and from excrement in order to Daven.

(c) He disagreed with the former statement however - because if Davening would sanctify the spot where one Davens, then it would transpire that the whole of Neherda'a would have been sanctified (something that was unheard of).

(d) Rav Nachman therefore amended the text of the Beraisa to read 'Yashheh' (meaning that he is obligated to wait the time it takes to walk four Amos in both cases - but not necessarily to actually walk that distance). One needs to wait four Amos between ...

  1. ... urinating and Davening - because of the drops that continue to drip for that split second.
  2. ... Davening and urinating - because one's lips still tend to move in prayer for the same period of time.
(a) Rav Zaka'i cited three reasons as to why he lived to a ripe old age: 1. because he never urinated within the time-period of four Amos from when he Davened; 2. because he never called his friends by their nicknames - and 3. because he never failed to make Kidush over wine.

(b) Once, when he had no wine for Kidush - his grandmother sold her hat in order to procure him wine for Kidush.

(c) When ...

  1. ... she died - she left him three hundred barrels of wine.
  2. ... he died - he left his children three thousand barrels.
(a) It happened once - that Rav Huna had no wine for Kidush, so he pawned his belt, and appeared before Rav with a sort of reed belt.

(b) Rav then conferred upon him the Berachah - that he should be covered with fine woolen cloaks.

(c) That Berachah was fulfilled - when, at one stage during the wedding celebrations of his son Rabah, Rav Huna, a short man, went to lie down on a couch. His daughters and daughters-in-law entered the room, and, not noticing him, they piled their fine woolen cloaks on the coach, *on top of him*.

(d) Rav was annoyed with Rav Huna - because when Rav blessed him, he should have replied 've'Chein le'Mar' ('and the same to you'). Who knows, perhaps the Berachah would at least have been fulfilled in real terms with regard to Rav.

13) Rebbi Elazar ben Shamua also ascribed his old age to three things: 1. that he never used the Beis-Hamedrash as a short -cut; 2. that he never stepped over the people in the Beis-Hamedrash and 3. a Kohen, he never Duchened without reciting a Berachah (though this is surely an obligation? - See Agados Maharsha)

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