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by R. Nosson Slifkin
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Rosh Hashanah 17

ROSH HASHANAH 17 & 18 (8, 9 Av) - these Dafim have been dedicated by Rabbi Eli Turkel of Ra'anana, Israel, to the memory of his father, Reb Yisrael Shimon ben Shlomo ha'Levi Turkel (Yarhzeit: 10 Av).


(a) Jews and non-Jews who have sinned with their bodies descend to Gehinom for 12 months.
1. After 12 months their bodies are consumed, and their souls are burned and scattered beneath the feet of the righteous, as derived from a Pasuk.
(b) Heretics, Mosrim and Apikorsim, who have denied the Torah and the resurrection, separated from the community, spread fear, sinned and caused others to sin (such as Yeravam and co.) descend to Gehinom forever.
1. Even when Gehinom is terminated, they are still not terminated.
2. They receive all this because they destroyed the Zevul (the Beis ha'Mikdash).
3. Chanah said that Hashem will smash such people.
4. (R. Yitzchak bar Avin) Their faces are as black as the bottom of a pot.
5. (Rava) These were elite of their town, and now they are the citizens of Gehinom.
(a) Question: How can Beis Hillel say that intermediate people have the scales tipped in their favor when Beis Shamai cited a Pasuk that they descend to Gehinom for a period?
(b) Answer: That refers to Jews who sin with their bodies.
1. Question: We said that such people have no salvation!?
2. Answer: That is only where they have a majority of sins; but where they are 50/50 and have sinned with their bodies, they descend to Gehinom for a period.
(c) (Rava) A Pasuk is inferred to refer to the Jewish People saying that Hashem listens to their cries; when they don't have enough Mitzvos, He tips the scales in their favor.
(d) Question: Who are Jews who sin with their bodies?
(e) Answer (Rav): People who don't wear Tefillin.
(f) Question: Who are non-Jews who sin with their bodies?
(g) Answer (Rav): People who are licentious.
(h) Question: Who are people that spread fear?
(i) Answer (Rav Chisda): Community leaders who instill fear amongst their community for evil motives.
1. (R. Yehudah, citing Rav) Such people do not see their sons becoming Torah scholars.
(j) Question: Beis Hillel said that Hashem tilts the scales of intermediate people in their favor- how does this work?
(k) Answer (R. Eliezer) He pushes down the good side (as derived from a Pasuk).
(l) Alternate answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): He lifts up the bad side (as derived from a Pasuk).
(m) Alternate answer (d'Bei R. Yishmael): He places the first sins on the side, as is one of His attributes (as derived from a Pasuk).
1. (Rava) These first sins are not erased; if the person still has a majority of sins, they are added to them.
(a) (Rava) If somebody overlooks those who wrong him, the attribute of judgment overlooks his sins.
1. This is derived from the Pasuk mentioning Hashem's forgiving sins being followed by overlooking crimes.
2. R. Huna b. R. Yehoshua was saved from a verdict of death because he overlooked those who wronged him.
(b) (R. Acha bar Chanina) The Pasuk later says something comforting, but not for all; Hashem forgives, but only those who regard themselves as unworthy.

(c) (R. Huna) It says that Hashem is "righteous" (exacting) and then that He is "pious" (generous) - the latter is when He sees that the world cannot survive the former.
(d) (R. Elazar) It says that Hashem is kind, and then that He is exacting - as above.
(e) (Ilfi/Ilfa) Similar contradiction and resolution.
(a) (R. Yochanan) Hashem clothed Himself like a Shaliach Tzibur and told Moshe that whenever the Jews recite the thirteen attributes, they will be forgiven.
1. "Hashem Hashem" - displaying mercy both before man sins and after he has sinned and repented.
2. (R. Yehudah) "The Merciful G-d" - that there is a covenant that a recital of the thirteen attributes will always be answered.
3. (R. Yochanan) Great is Teshuvah, that it tears up a person's verdict, as derived from a Pasuk saying that he is healed.
i. Question (R. Papa): Perhaps that's only before the verdict?
ii. Answer (Abaye): It is only a verdict that needs healing.
(b) Question: We see that there is no infallible method of obtaining forgiveness:
1. If one repents before Yom Kipur, one is forgiven; otherwise, all the Korbanos in the world won't help!
(c) Answer: It is only for a community that the recital of the 13 attributes works even after the verdict.
(d) Question: We see that there is no infallible method for tearing up the verdict:
1. If the nation was originally wicked and the verdict was for less rain, later repentance cannot change the verdict, but the rain will fall in the best places.
2. If the nation was originally righteous and the verdict was for more rain, later sins cannot change the verdict, but the rain will fall in the worst places.
3. We see that the verdict is never changed!?
(e) Answer: It is only not changed because there is a simpler solution.
(a) Question: We find that even with a community, there is no way of changing a verdict:
1. Pesukim speak of sailors crying out in distress due to a storm and thanking Him for His help.
2. The Pesukim are enclosed by brackets, teaching us that He doesn't help if the verdict has already been given!?
(b) Answer: They are only a group, rated as individuals, rather than a community.
(c) Question: We see that the verdict cannot be changed:
1. Question (Bluriya ha'Giyores): One Pasuk says that Hashem does not show favor, while another states that He does!?
2. Answer (R. Yosi ha'Kohen): There is a parable:
i. A man swears by the life of a king to pay his loan on time.
ii. He fails to do so, and asks the king for forgiveness.
iii. The king forgives, but warns him to seek forgiveness from the lender.
iv. Similarly, Hashem can only show favor to those who sinned to Him, not to those who sinned to man.
3. Alternate answer (R. Akiva): Before the verdict He shows favor, afterwards He doesn't.
(d) Answer: That is only referring to an individual.
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