REVIEW QUESTIONS ON GEMARA AND RASHI
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Megilah 11
MEGILAH 11-13 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.
(a) Rebbi Chanina bar Papa would begin his Derashah with the Pasuk in Tehilim
"Hirkavta Enosh le'Rosheinu ... ". "Ba'nu ba'Eish" refers to the days of
Nevuchadnetzar, "u'va'Mayim" to those of Par'oh, "va'Totzi'enu la'Revayah",
to Yisrael in the days of Haman.
What is the connection between
Nevuchadnetzar and fire?
(b) Rebbi Yochanan would begin his Derashah with the Pasuk in Tehilim "Zachar
Chasdo ve'Emunaso le'Veis Yisrael, Ra'u Chol Afsei Aretz es Yeshu'as
Elokeinu", which refers to the days of Mordechai and Esther. Resh Lakish
would quote the Pasuk in Mishlei "Ari Nohem, ve'Dov Shokek, Moshel Rasha al
Who is meant by "Ari Nohem"?
(c) Why is Achashveirosh (meaning the Persians) referred to as 'a bear'?
(d) Why are Yisrael referred to as 'a poor nation'?
(a) Rebbi Elazar would begin his Derashah with the Pasuk in Koheles
"ba'Atzaltayim Yimach ha'Mikreh ... ".
What tied Hashem's Hands, making Him
poor (giving the impression that He was unable to save Yisrael - Kevayachol)?
(b) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak would begin from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Shir
ha'Ma'alos, Lulei Hashem she'Hayah Lanu ... be'Kum Aleinu Adam".
in this Pasuk indicates that it refers to the story of Purim?
(c) Rava would begin his Purim Derashah from the Pasuk in Mishlei "bi'Revos
Tzadikim Yismach ha'Am, u'vi'M'shol Rasha Ye'enach Am", and Rav Masna from
the Pasuk in ve'Eschanan "Ki Mi Goy Gadol Asher Lo Elohim Kerovim Eilav ...
". What is the significance of the Pasuk ...
- ... there (which marked the commencement of Rav Ashi's Derashah) "O ha'Nisah Elokim ... "? What is the connection with Purim?
- ... in Ki Savo (which marked the commencement of Rav's) "ve'Hismakartem Sham le'Oyvecha la'Avadim ve'li'Shefachos, ve'Ein Koneh"? Why was that?
(a) Shmuel began his Derashah with the Pasuk in Bechukosai "Lo Me'astim" (in
the days of the Greeks) "ve'Lo Ge'altim" (in the days of Nevuchadnetzar)
le'Chalosam" (in the days of Haman) "le'Hafer B'risi Itam" (in the days of
the Romans - the Ya'avetz changes 'Persians' to 'Romans', both here and in
the next question).
To which days does "Ki Ani Hashem Elokeihem" refer?
(b) The Tana of the Beraisa switches the first two. According to him "Lo
Me'astim" refers to the days of the Kasdim - the Babylonians) and "ve'Lo
Ge'altim", to the days of the Greeks.
Whom did Hashem set up to save
Yisrael in the days of ...
(c) How does the Tana explain "Ki Ani Hashem Elokeihem"?
- ... the Babylonians?
- ... the Greeks?
- ... Haman?
- ... the Romans?
(d) The last two Derashos quoted in the Gemara are those of Rebbi Levi and
Rebbi Chiya (who both quote Pesukim in Matos). One of them specifies the sin
that caused the threat of Haman, the other, that Yisrael would (all but)
suffer the same fate as the seven nations whom Hashem had destroyed before
What was that sin?
(a) How does Rav interpret ...
(b) Shmuel explains "Achashveirosh" 'she'Hushcheru P'neihem shel Yisrael
be'Yamav', and Rebbi Yochanan, 'Kol she'Zochro, Amar "Ach" (like Oy!)
le'Rosho' (all acronyms of "Achashveirosh").
- ... "va'Yehi"?
- ... "bi'Yemei *Achashveirosh*" ('Achiv shel Rosh')?
What does Rebbi Chanina mean
when he explains 'she'ha'Kol Na'asin Rashin be'Yamav'?
(c) How do we explain the continuation of the Pasuk "Hu Achashveirosh"?
(d) We make similar Derashos with regard to Eisav and King Achav.
infamous pair of brothers enjoy the same criticism?
(a) Chazal make the same Derashah by way of praise, with regard to Avaraham
Which famous pair of brothers are praised in the same way?
(b) How do we explain the Pasuk in Shmuel which writes "ve'David Hu
(c) We explain the word "ha'Molech" (regarding Achashveirosh) to mean that he
was not appointed to rule, but assumed rulership on his own volition (due to
the fact that he was not a member of the royal family). Some explain this
derogatively - that he was not really fit to rule, but he got to the throne
by paying for it.
How do others learn?
(a) Rav and Shmuel argue over whether India and Kush were at two opposite
ends of the world, or whether they were next to each other.
If they were
next to each other, how will we explain the fact that he ruled over a hundred
and twenty seven provinces?
(b) About who else do Rav and Shmuel have a similar Machlokes?
(c) How does Rav Chisda explain the Pasuk in Esther "Sheva ve'Esrim u'Mei'ah
(d) In view of the fact that Chazal do not make such a Derashah on the Pasuk
"u'Sh'nei Chayei Amram, Sheva u'Sheloshim u'Me'as Shanah", why should we make
this Derashah here?
(a) The Tana lists three people who ruled over the whole of the then-known
world; Ach'av, Nevuchadnetzar and Achashveirosh.
Answers to questions
Why did they not include
Alexander the Great (See Tosfos)?
(b) We have already cited the proof for Achashveirosh.
From where do we
know to include Ach'av in the list?
(c) According to some opinions, the Tana did not mention Shlomoh because he
was deposed and never returned to his kingdom.
How will those who maintain
that Shlomoh *did* return to his kingdom explain the omission of Shlomoh?
(d) Why does the Tana omit ...
- ... Sancheriv?
- ... Daryavesh the first?
- ... Koresh?
(a) In describing Achashverosh's feast, the Pasuk in Megilah first writes
"ke'Sheves ha'Melech Achashverosh ... ", and then "bi'Sh'nas Shalosh
How does Rava explain this discrepancy?
(b) What mistake did Beltshatzar make with regard to the seventy predicted
years of Galus Bavel?
(c) What is the significance of ...
- ... 'Galu be'Sheva, Galu bi'Shemonah' (which Mar said with regard to Galus Yechonyah). Do they refer to the same year or to different ones?
- ... 'Galu bi'Shemoneh-Esrei, Galu bi'T'sha-Esrei'?
(a) What did Nevuchadnetzar achieve in the second year of his reign?
(b) How many years passed from the time that Nevuchadnetzar captured
Yehoyakim the first time and his capture and killing after his rebellion?
(c) How do we prove that Nevuchadnetzar reigned forty-five years from the
fact that Evil Merodach released Yechonyah from jail in the thirty-seventh
year of his exile?
(d) How many years did E'vil Merodach reign?
(a) How did Nevuchadnetzar attempt to rectify Beltshatzar's mistake? How did
*he* reckon the seventy years?
(b) How did he reckon the missing eight years that Beltshatzar had counted by
including the first eight years of Nevuchadnetzar's reign?
(a) What was *Achashverosh's* mistake? Why did the seventy years of Galus
Bavel not terminate *then*?
(b) How many years then still remained from Achashverosh's reckoning until
the Galus was actually due to terminate?
(c) What is the problem then, knowing as we do that Achashverosh reigned for
(a) When exactly *did* the Galus finally end?
Answers to questions
(b) What were the two other names of Daryavesh the second?
(c) We answer the discrepancy (mentioned in 11c.) by explaining that some of
the years mentioned earlier were counted twice. For example, Daryavesh the
first and Koresh did not reign five years between them, but only four.
Which other similar mistake needs to be rectified?