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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Moed Katan 25

MOED KATAN 24, 25 - anonymously dedicated by an Ohev Torah and Marbitz Torah in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) When the Tana writes in a Beraisa 'Chacham she'Meis, ha'Kol K'rovav' - he means to say 'ha'Kol *ki*Kerovav', regarding tearing Keri'ah, uncovering the shoulders and serving him his first meal on Chol ha'Mo'ed.

(b) Our Mishnah says that only a relation tears Keri'ah (as well as uncovering his shoulders and serving the Se'udas Havra'ah) on Chol ha'Mo'ed. Besides who died - This statement applies neither to a Chacham who died - nor to an Adam Kasher.

(c) Anyone (even a non-relative) must tear Keri'ah, even if the Meis is neither a relative, a Chacham nor an Adam Kasher - if he is present at the time of death.

(a) Someone who ...
1. ... fails to tear Keri'ah and mourn for an Adam Kasher - will find that his children are dying young.
2. ... actually does tear Ker'iah - will merit forgiveness for all his sins.
(b) The original wording of the Beraisa, that one's children die young to induce one to mourn the loss of an Adam Kasher, is unacceptable - because it is not Hashem's way to take a security in advance (only to punish for what has already been done).

(c) Whoever is standing by the Meis when he dies is obligated to tear Keri'ah - because it is like witnessing a Seifer-Torah burning.

(a) When Rav Safra died, the Chachamim did not tear Keri'ah because, they argued, they never learned anything from him. Abaye objected for two reasons: one of them, because the Beraisa does not say '*ha'Rav* she'Meis', but '*Chacham* she'Meis' - the other, because, seeing as they were all contempories learning in the same Beis-ha'Medrash, they would constantly have been reviewing his statements on a daily basis.

(b) And when they contended ...

1. ... that they had missed the boat, and that it was too late to tear Keri'ah - Abaye reminded them of the Beraisa, which states that, as long as one is busy with the Hesped of a Chacham, the obligation to tear Ke'ri'ah remains intact.
2. ... that, in that case, they should tear immediately without making a Hesped there and then - he quoted the Beraisa 'Chacham Kevodo be'Hespeido'.
(a) When Rav Huna died, they wanted to place a Seifer-Torah on the bed where he lay. Rav Chisda objected ...
1. ... on the grounds - that when Rav Huna was still alive, Rav Tachlifa had seen him remove a Seifer-Torah from a bed, and place it on an overturned jar, before sitting on the bed.
2. ... to the fact that, when they were unable to carry the bed through the narrow doorway, they contemplated carrying him away via the rooftops - on the grounds Rav Huna himself had taught him that it was the Kavod of a Chacham to be carried through the door of his house.
3. ... to the fact that they then planned to move him on to a smaller bed, and carry him out through the existing doorway - because Rav Huna had also taught him that it was the Kavod of a Chacham to carry him out on the bed on which he died.
(b) They subsequently carried him out of the house - through the new, widened doorway.

(c) Based on Rebbi Aba's Hesped - the Shechinah did not rest on Rav Huna - because he lived in Bavel (which was Chutz la'Aretz).

(d) Nevertheless, Hashem appeared to Yechezkel in Chutz la'Aretz - because he had already prophesied in Eretz Yisrael.

(a) One is obligated to make a Shurah and to say Birchas Aveilim and Tanchumei Aveilim on a Meis that is in transit - only if the body is still complete.

(b) Rebbi Chanina (and some say, also Rebbi Ila) did not pay their respects to the Aron of Rav Huna, when it arrived in Eretz Yisrael on its way to be buried - because no-one had informed them that Rav Huna's body was still complete.

(c) Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi were initially prepared to go and greet Rav Huna immediately - because when they lived in Bavel, they had been subservient to Rav Huna, so now that he had arrived in Eretz Yisrael (and they at first thought that he was still alive), they figured that they must certainly go and pay him their respects.

(d) They buried Rav Huna beside Rebbi Chiya - because he, like Rebbi Chiya, had spread much Torah in Yisrael.

(a) Rav Chaga volunteered to bury Rav Huna's coffin next to Rebbi Chiya - on the basis of, having served Rav Huna when he (Rav Chaga) had been a Bachur of eighteen, he was aware of his Rebbe's outstanding deeds.

(b) He once witnessed - how Rav Huna fasted forty days because one of his Tefilin-straps had twisted.

(c) Yehudah and Chizkiyah, Rebbi Chiya's sons, were buried beside their father. When Rav Chaga entered the cave with Rav Huna's coffin - the former told the latter to stand up and move in deference to Rav Huna.

(d) As Chizkiyah stood up, the Shechinah (in the form of a Pillar of Fire) stood with him. Rav Chaga would have got burnt, had he not stood Rav Huna's coffin erect to act as a buffer between the Pillar of Fire and himself (see Rabeinu Chananel).

(a) Rav Yitzchak objected when, after Rav Chisda died, they ...
1. ... wanted to place a Seifer-Torah on his Aron - on the grounds that Rav Chisda was a disciple of Rav Huna, who forbade this (as we saw earlier).
2. ... declined to sew (even inexpertly) the garments on which they had just torn Keri'ah - because, once they have taken leave of the bed of a Chacham who died, they are permitted to stitch it in an inexpert way.
(b) Rabah bar Rav Huna and Rav Hamnuna both died at the same time and both were being transported to Eretz Yisrael. The camels stopped when they reached a narrow bridge - because each of the deceased considered the other to be more worthy, and therefore refused to go first.

(c) When an Arab decided that Rabah bar Rav Huna should be taken across first, and the camels complied with his decision - his teeth fell out.

(d) According to Rashi's second explanation, when that child mentioned in his Hesped ...

1. ... 'Geza Yeshishim' (the off-spring of great men) - he was referring to Rabah bar Rav Huna.
2. ... 'Seifer Milchamos' - to Rav Hamnuna.



(a) Bar Kipuk the eulogizer, told Rav Ashi that, when he died, he would say in his eulogy 'If the flame set the *cedars* alight, then what should the *ivy* do' - meaning that if great men of Rav Ashi's caliber succumbed to the Angel of Death, then what chance did the ordinary people stand?

(b) In a similar analogy to fish, he continued - 'If the Leviathan is caught on a fish-hook, then what chance do the little fish of the swamps stand?

(c) Bar Kipuk's rival Bar Avin objected to the analogy of a fire and a fish-hook regarding Rav Ashi.

(d) *He* intended to say, he concluded, that one should cry for the mourners and not for the lost article, seeing as the latter were going to rest, and it was the former who would suffer the loss. However, that too, was not in order - because he should not have referred to such a Tzadik as a lost article.

(a) Rava's statement (that neither Bar Kipuk nor Bar Avin could make Chalitzah) was based on the conclusion of the above episode - in which, due to what they had said, the feet of both of them became twisted. Consequently, they walked on their knees, and the Torah says in Ki Seitzei "me'Al Raglo" 'and not 'me'El de'me'Al' (that the Yevamah must take the right shoe off the foot of the Yavam, and not from below (or above) the foot.

(b) When Rav Ashi ultimately died - neither Bar Kipuk nor Bar Avin eulogized him, because of the above episode, for which Rav Ashi had been indirectly responsible, and which caused them to become maimed.

(c) When Rava said that a third had reached the river Diglas - he meant himself, because Yisrael are called Sh'lishis (see Agados Maharsha - perhaps because they are part of the triumvirate Hashem, Torah and Yisrael), and the Gadol ha'Dor is like the majority of the people.

(d) The gist of Rav Avin's prayer at that moment was - that although Yisrael had gone astray, Hashem should have mercy on them like He did at the water of Marah (where He also saved them from thirst, even though they were unworthy).

(a) When they buried Rav Chanin, the Nasi's son, that eulogizer said 'Simchah le'Tugah Nehefchah, Sason ve'Yagon Nidbaku ... '. He was referring to the sad fact that after a long period of childlesness, Rav Chanin's prayers were answered, and he had a son, only to die on the same day.

(b) They called Rebbi Chanin's son - Chanan after his father.

(c) Rebbi Yitzchak ben Elazar was referring to Rebbi Yochanan, when he echoed the Pasuk in Amos "ve'Hayah ba'Yom ha'Hu, ve'Heiveisi ha'Shemesh ba'Tzaharayim". Rebbi Yochanan himself had attributed the Pasuk - to Yoshiyah ha'Melech, whose life was cut short (though this cannot be said about Rebbi Yochanan, who learned from Rebbi, yet he outlived Rav and Shmuel [though he was slightly younger than Rav]).

(a) On the day that Rebbi Yochanan died, Rebbi Ami observed the Dinim of Shiv'ah and Sh'loshim. Rebbi Aba, based on a statement by his father Rebbi Chiya bar Aba quoting Rebbi Yochanan (that even for the Rebbe who taught him Gemara, one only needs to sit for one day) - declared that Rebbi Ami did what he did entirely of his own accord.

(b) 'Bavel carried him and bore him, Eretz Yisrael reared the one of whom it was fond' - was said about Rebbi Zeira, who grew up in Bavel, but later moved to Eretz Yisrael.

(c) 'Oy Na Lah, Amrah Rekes, Ki Avdah K'lei Chemdasah', the Hesped continued. Rekes is better-known as Teveryah.

(a) When Rebbi Avahu died, the pillars of Caeseria 'shed tears', when Rebbi Yossi died, blood flowed along the drain-pipes of Tzipori. When Rebbi Ya'akov died - the stars shone in the day-time, and when Rebbi Asi died - all the trees were uprooted.

(b) When Rebbi Chiya died, arches of fire were seen in the sky, and following the death of Rebbi Menachem b'Rebbi Sima'i, all the faces on the idols and on the coins melted.

1. When Rebbi Tanchum bar Chiya died - all the busts of the kings smashed ...
2. ... and when Rebbi Elyashiv died - seventy tunnels were dug by thieves in Neherda'a.
(c) When Rav Hamnuna died, arches of ice fell from the sky, and when Rabah and Rav Yosef died (not at the same time), the arches of the bridges that spanned the Peras broke and the broken ends touched each other. The same thing happened to the arches of the bridges that spanned the River Diglas - at the death of Abaye and Rava (who did not die at the same time either).

(d) When Rav Mesharshaya died - all the palm-trees sprouted thorns.

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